It is said that the brain separates creativity and logic. How we view and interpret color operates in one side of the brain and processing numbers exists in the other. But when colors and numbers collide, what is the outcome? Could it be color synesthesia – a condition in the brain that makes a person associate certain numbers with distinct colors?
What is Color Synesthesia?
Known as grapheme, color synesthesia occurs in people who, when thinking of numbers, attach colors to those digits. Usually, once a number is given a color, it does not change. For instance, if the number (5) is shaded green, it will likely always be experienced that way.
This is an extremely rare phenomenon that only exists in one percent of the population. Some of the people who live with grapheme consider themselves lucky. Lani Metoyer wrote on related website, “It’s pleasant to see radiant colors as I type or read.”
A Pleasant Neurological Condition
No matter how enjoyable it seems, grapheme is a neurological condition. Even though all people connect numbers and colors to certain degrees, people with color synesthesia take this to a new level. Having over excitable brain functions, they only need about one third of the stimulation a person without the condition needs to experience light flashes, which ultimately reflects colors in places others don’t see.
Most people who have color synesthesia don’t seem to mind the condition. Doctors and neuroscientists often appreciate the insight this population has. Oxford neuroscientist Dr. Terhune says studying people who have grapheme allows for “some interesting insight into how cortical excitability may be related to conscious awareness.”
Take a Color Synesthesia Assessment
Because color synesthesia is so rare, it is common for people to overlook it or keep their symptoms quiet. In reality, it is nothing to feel shame about. Living with this condition allows a person to see the world through vibrant colors that others can never experience.
Take this assessment from http://www.synthesiastest.org/ to see if grapheme colors your world in unique ways.
Read more Segmation blog posts about Color and Science:
Artistic Characteristics of the Right Brain and Left Brain
Photography: Black and White or in Living Colors
The Many Different Hues of Blue
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