Imagine seeing colors fly out of someone’s mouth as they sing or speak. Imagine ribbons and double-helixes of silver and gold shoot from the end of a trumpet.
This is what color-hearing synesthesia is like, and you might have experienced this as a baby, according to the theory of two gentlemen.
Oliver Sacks writes in Musicophilia about Simon Baron-Cohen’s and John Harrison’s work that led them to write,
“We might all be colored-hearing synesthetes until we lose connections between these two areas [color and hearing areas of the brain] somewhere about three months of age.”
Musicophilia, page 181
Basically, Sacks goes on to write, the two senses mesh together, colors appearing with tones. But as we develop, the two separate, no longer creating a synesthetic experience, says their theory.
For those of you who don’t remember anything from infant age (like…all of us), you can watch the video below given to me by a young man with color-tone synesthesia.
He said this is the closest thing he’s found that illustrates what a synesthete sees, but he said he sees the colors more like ribbons and less like clouds.