Synaesthesia associations not random

by JGordon on Apr. 30th, 2008

It totally is red!: Oh, man, I have to go give myself a concussion.
It totally is red!: Oh, man, I have to go give myself a concussion.Courtesy rbrwr
What a boring title for something kind of awesome.

So--synaesthesia. It's where people associate (to varying degrees) one sense with another. Like maybe a certain musical note sounds yellow, or, more frequently, certain letters will always be seen as certain colors.

Well, in this study it was revealed that color/letter synaesthetic associations aren't totally arbitrary. "A," for instance, is most often associated with the color red, "V" with purple.

What's more, there seems to be a link to how often the colors and letters are used in language. Both "A" and "red" are common in language, while "V" and "purple" are proportionately less common. Common letters and common colors are usually paired to each other, with the same going for less common letters and colors.

The brain is so weird.

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Candice_318's picture
Candice_318 says:

I hate the color red. I never associate the letter a with the color red. How stupid...

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posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 8:29am
koallainfestation37's picture
koallainfestation37 says:

thats something that i would have never known
the mind is infact an incredable thing

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 9:53am
Jefflemus00's picture
Jefflemus00 says:

So, just because the letter A and the color red are common, they are paired up with each other? I like blue way better...

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 10:00am
Amanda's picture
Amanda says:

does this whole color and letter aquire then entire alphabet or just "a" and red

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 10:10am
jimh's picture
jimh says:

I would like to know more common synaesthetic associations. What colors are most commonly associated with each letter of the alphabet? What about numbers? Musical tones? I have read that these associations are really strong for some people.

posted on Thu, 05/01/2008 - 4:26pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

I think, with this study, that it's only just being discovered that there are common synaesthetic associations. The reasons why they're relatively common are still pretty mysterious.

I should have added a link to the post to explain what synaesthesia is. I'm sure there's a wikipedia article people could find without much trouble. There's also this page made by some Macalester students. It's a little difficult to read (not because of the content, but because of the background), but it's got some good information. The types of synaesthesia section is pretty interesting.

posted on Fri, 05/02/2008 - 9:29am

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