A condition in which the normally separate senses are not separate. Sight may mingle with sound, taste with touch, etc. The senses are cross-wired. For example, when a digit-color synesthete sees or just thinks of a number, the number appears with a color film over it. A given number's color never changes; it appears every time with the number. Synesthesia can take many forms. A synesthete may sense the taste of chicken as a pointed object. Other synesthetes hear colors. Still others may have several senses cross-wired. Estimates of the frequency of synesthesia range from 1 in 250,000 to 1 in 2,000. People with synesthesia are 6 times more likely to be female than male. Most synesthetes find their unusual sensory abilities enjoyable. People with synesthesia often report that one or more of their family members also have synesthesia, so it may in at least some cases be an inherited condition. It may be that synesthesia arises when particular senses fail to become fully independent of one another during normal development. According to this school of thought, all babies are synesthetes. Synesthesia can be induced by certain hallucinogenic drugs and can also occur in some types of seizure disorders.
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1. A condition in which a stimulus, in addition to exciting the usual and normally located sensation, gives rise to a subjective sensation of different character or localization; e.g., color hearing, color taste. 2. From a neurolinguistic perspective, stimulus-response conditioning such as seen in a phobia. [syn- + G. aisthesis, sensation]
- s. algica SYN: synesthesialgia.

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syn·es·the·sia or chiefly Brit syn·aes·the·sia .sin-əs-'thē-zh(ē-)ə n a concomitant sensation and esp. a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated also the condition marked by the experience of such sensations
syn·es·thet·ic or chiefly Brit syn·aes·thet·ic -'thet-ik adj

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syn·es·the·sia (sin″es-theґzhə) [syn- + esthesia] 1. a secondary sensation accompanying an actual perception. 2. a dysesthesia in which a stimulus of one sense is perceived as a sensation of a different sense, as when a sound produces a sensation of color. 3. a dysesthesia in which a stimulus to one part of the body is experienced as being at a different location.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • synesthesia — [sin΄əs thē′zhə, sin΄əs thē′zhē ə, sin΄əs thē′zē ə] n. [ModL synaesthesia: see SYN & ESTHESIA] 1. Physiol. sensation felt in one part of the body when another part is stimulated 2. Psychol. a process in which one type of stimulus produces a… …   English World dictionary

  • Synesthesia — For other uses, see Synesthesia (disambiguation). How someone with synesthesia might perceive certain letters and numbers. Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia, plural synesthesiae or synaesthesiae), from the ancient Greek σύν… …   Wikipedia

  • synesthesia — synesthete /sin euhs theet /, n. synesthetic /sin euhs thet ik/, adj. /sin euhs thee zheuh, zhee euh, zee euh/, n. a sensation produced in one modality when a stimulus is applied to another modality, as when the hearing of a certain sound induces …   Universalium

  • synesthesia —    or synaesthesia, and synesthete or synaesthete    A concomitant sensation; a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated. The American Synesthesia Association (ASA) defines it this… …   Glossary of Art Terms

  • synesthesia — synaesthesia UK [ˌsɪnɪsˈθiːzɪə] / US [ˌsɪnəsθɪʒə] or synesthesia UK / US noun [uncountable] medical a condition in which two or more of the five senses that most people experience separately are mixed so that, for example, a person may see colour …   English dictionary

  • synesthesia — US var. of SYNAESTHESIA. * * * synesthesia var. synæsthesia …   Useful english dictionary

  • synesthesia — noun Etymology: New Latin, from syn + esthesia (as in anesthesia) Date: circa 1891 1. a concomitant sensation; especially a subjective sensation or image of a sense (as of color) other than the one (as of sound) being stimulated 2. the condition… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • synesthesia —    see synaesthesia …   Dictionary of Hallucinations

  • synesthesia — n. process in which one type of sensation produces a secondary subjective sensation (as when one sees a particular color in response to certain music) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • synesthesia — noun US spelling of synaesthesia …   English new terms dictionary

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