Is This Synesthesia??

I typed this to a expert on synesthesia in an email, but I'm too curious to keep it only to one conversation. What do you guys think?

I know I have spatial-sequence synesthesia  for days of the week and numbers. But the other stuff is different.
First, when I hear music, I have a scene pop up in my mind. I usually can't pick it, it just happens. One song might be a moon in the sky, a forest of olive trees, green hills, etc. It looks like a photograph, but I can't control it. It can move too - the trees can blow in the wind. Like tonight, as I type this, I'm listening to acoustic guitar, and I see a white brick wall with a fuchsia flower hanging over it.
Sometimes, when I hear notes, I see colored bars move in the rhythm of the music flash by. Different instruments or tempos have different colors. Sometimes, with layered music, notes have  a spatial quality in front of me.
Lastly, I found out that I don't think in pictures or words. I think in pictures of words. When someone speaks, I see their words as if I was reading them in a book. Different conversations have different background colors. It's a real problem because I'm learning Hebrew and if I read a transliteration I can't think that word in Hebrew letters. Therefore, I can only read Hebrew letters when studying, because it takes me months to switch the alphabets.

Do I just have a really bizarre imagination?
EstaraJ EstaraJ
6 Responses May 7, 2012

Ya, that's synesthesia all right. When people talk, you see words, but doesn't usally happen to me. Then one day my mom said something, and literally saw the words with color.

sounds like you have a rare case,i dont have a conventional case myself but ive never heard something like that before,i like it,oh and to answer your question,yes i think your in the right place here.

i posted a similar article about this because i also have it. with certain music i get certain scenes pop up in my head. its like im standing in a postcard of some exotic place or great landscape. i also have coloured bars for music and they move up and down like an ever changing stair case. <br />
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i thought it was just my imagination aswell, maybe it is or maybe its another kind of synesthesia that we havent heard of yet?? who knows but its nice to know that someone else shares this experience because its great!

I very rarely see pictures in my synesthetic visuals (music-->color projection) but it's like the same thing as when I saw pictures when watching clouds roll by as a kid.<br />
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I think you obviously have multiple forms of syn, but the picture deal is more likely an association and not synesthesia. Synesthesia is generally defined as being simple geometric responses when it comes to visual effects of non-visual stimuli. Many synesthetes have a really strong memory and are more likely to have photographic memories, and I know that certain things bring back really strong memories.

I tried out some music today that I haven't heard in years. Same color/image as years ago. Multiple songs. I see the same flashes of light for the same notes, but when there are too many notes at once, it becomes an image.<br />
The expert I emailed (I emailed him the same thing I typed above) told me that the seeing words/thinking in word images) is a form of synesthesia. That does happen all the time to me, and sometimes the color behind the words changes. I don't know why. <br />
My Hebrew teacher was so weirded out when I asked her how I could think in the Hebrew alphabet after seeing a transliteration. <br />
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Thanks for your response!!!

I think if the images with the music are always the same with the same music, and they are involuntary, then it is probably synesthesia or something like it. <br />
If the flashes of light are involuntary and consistent and they happen every time, they too, might be syn.<br />
I think the tempos and instruments are probably timbre > color and tempo > color syn.<br />
As for thinking in words, I would say that unless it happens all the time always (this would be phoneme > image) I would say that this is just how you think. <br />
Now, I think you should note that I am by no means an expert, this is just my personal opinion.<br />
Also, welcome to the site.