Synaesthesia Magazine Science & Numbers - Page 27

Prime numbers vector

drawn by Jason Padgett

she sees a spectral green hovering over every ‘4’. Another case-study, Lidell, hears a ping! - at the same time he recognises a person's face. When this happens, Lidell’s ears don’t sense auditory vibrations. Rather, his brain tells him that he has heard the sound. The ping! - exists in his consciousness.

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"Jason projects geometrical patterns onto his environment. Light appears as fractals. Amorphous edges - like those of clouds and water - are spirals."

Someone experiences synaesthesia when the awareness of one thing causes simultaneous perception of a disparate thing that doesn’t actually exist. Associator synaesthesia occurs when someone experiences the imaginary sense-object internally, as if “inside the mind”. Projector synaesthesia occurs when someone experiences the imaginary sense-object as externally, outside the body.

Some call forms of synaesthesia “known illusions” or “known hallucinations,” since synaesthetes generally understand that other people don’t perceive some things they do. Synaethesia is automatic and involuntary. Those who have it can’t control it.

One of our lab’s case-studies, Megan, has grapheme-color synaesthesia. A projector,