I'd like to make a VR animation for one song to show others how it looks sometime. There are some videos produced by others but I don't think they give the full experience and they are missing something. On the other hand, I'm happy I don't have this ability normally because I would've probably gotten involved in some music-related field and that might not be a great career path. It seems to make music composition much more intuitive and just "obvious."
A couple good books on the subject: "Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia" and "Sensory Blending: On Synaesthesia and related phenomena."
My understanding is you can perceive when music looks/feels/smells right or whatever your sensory blend is, which means you can perceive things that work well together that others might not. Of course I could be completely wrong about this.
"I certainly don’t think in words. I’m not sure that anyone does. Does anyone really think in sentences, like in films when you see someone thinking and you hear a voice-over? I don’t anyway, I see stuff visually, as shapes, colours, textures and mechanisms sort of hanging there in space. If there’s a hole in someone’s argument I visually see a hole in it, in the armature and mass of the thing. I’ll see the shape of a whole book that way before it’s written, and so far, the books have all ended up the way I saw them originally."
As for drug-induced synesthesia, the idea would be the same. It can give you ideas, but most of them are likely to only make sense in your own world. It means that unless you really have too much experience with your drugs, the bulk of the work has to be done on a clear head, with a solid musical foundation.
And that's how I found out I had synaesthesia.
EDIT: Also, the descriptions people report of their imagination when reading a narrative description or exposition of a scene often include details seemingly arising in a loose associative way from the words themselves, without being explicitly described in the text.
EDIT 2: And I'm not entirely comfortable with the notion that people experience the world in a "fundamentally different way" when there is evidence that this may not be a fundamental difference after all. Different it is, no doubt, but this seems to be a difference of magnitude rather than fundamental nature. The predominant character of the experiences may be subjectively different, leading to a different approach to many situations in a person's life, but the mechanisms appear to be fundamental to consciousness itself.
An upside of synaesthesia is that I have very good clerical accuracy, which is helpful for programming—typographical errors “stick out” because things appear the wrong colour. A downside is that I can’t really use syntax highlighting, because I find it distracting. This is what my terminal Emacs looks like: https://imgur.com/m76W8eF (with soft wrapping because there’s not really a line length limit in this codebase).
I didn't think about this, but does feeling a smell or scent in different emotional strengths also count to synaesthesia?
I guess I should stress that I don't "see" these colors. I just know, intuitively, that they are there. They are the color of the letters in my mind's eye, if you will. I suspect thus that it has nothing to do with the shape of the letters, but is a side effect of how my brain processes the language, and understands the underlying phonemes. That would also explain why the vowels seem to be so much brighter, since they are the most important letters when I'm scanning text quickly for comprehension.
I've had number forms all my life. I never knew where they came from or why, so the way I see numbers finally made sense when I found out that it was part of a condition I've actually heard of before.
I also have some weak chromagraphemia, but the number forms are much stronger.
For example, here's a rough approximation of how I see the numbers 0-100. It's not perfect because it's hard to do suble slopes in text.
69 70 71
66 67 68 72 73 74
63 64 65 75 76 77
60 61 62 78 79 80
29 30 31 59 81
28 32 58 82
27 33 57 83
26 34 56 84
25 35 55 85
24 36 54 86
23 37 53 87
22 38 52 88
21 39 51 89
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 100
But I have never heard of this number form concept so thank you for unlocking it for me. My number form for natural numbers is quite smooth, like a tangent line progressing just slightly for numbers 0 - 20, then becoming almost vertical at >70. Of course the numbers (or, to be precise, digits, but sometimes they blend) have their colors. Negative numbers progress horizontally along the x axis to the left.
Does visualizing time also fall under a number form phenomenon? Or is it described by some other term? I'd love to learn more! Thinking of a year I see a disc, slightly tilted so winter months are a bit lower than summer, the time progress is counter-clockwise and I am constantly oriented spatially on this disc. So I always go "left" and "uphill" in the spring, and "downhill" in autumn, and past months are not simply "behind" me, I can point to them in space (so now, in October, January is more in front and slightly to the left, April is across on the other side, November just down the road, etc. To make things more fun every month has its color). Thinking about time brings me there just like thinking about walking around my real neighborhood brings awareness of how am I positioned in relation to my house. Thinking on smaller time scales just zooms it in and positions me like I was observing the edge of the disc from the inside (so weeks progress to the left as well; thinking about any week in a year makes me spatially aware of where I am in relation to the year).
Just trying to describe it for the first time makes it seem strange to me, while it was something that simply always has been with me all the time, and I half expect you to tell me that, in fact, this is basically how everyone perceives time.
tl;dr: is there a separate term to describe mapping time to space, or more generally applying spatial awareness to other phenomena / prceiving time using other senses?
I think it depends on how it's visualized. Number forms are idiosyncratic two-dimensional visualizations of any numerical sequence. If the visualization is three-dimensional, it's spatial sequence synesthesia, which is a different phenomenon.
For me, months of the year are something like a sine wave, which is still a number form. The peak is in June, and the trough is in December.
Edit: According to Wikipedia, spatio-temporal synesthesia is also a thing. I think that's what you have.
I am something like this
5 6 7 8 9 10
3 19 18 17 16 15 14 13 12
then its just lines like this (but upside down to the bit above)
30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39
20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29
I wonder if you could build an SSD that did a playback of a 2-dimensional scan of an input image in such a way that a blind person could rebuild the 2-dimensional image. Perhaps the brain could pick up something akin to CRT horizontal scan lines. Also, I wonder whether stereophonic output would be advantageous.
Space-filling curves are a sort of optimal mapping strategy for compressing two dimensions down into one.
Essentially it draws an object on an oscilloscope by splitting the audio channel into x y coordinates.