The Taste of Colour

Watch videos exploring the experiences of people with synaesthesia—people with experiences such as seeing colours when hearing certain words.

How to Use It

Select a video to watch the story.

What Science Tells Us

Historically, the experiences of synaesthetes have been met with scepticism. The first case notes reporting on synaesthesia in the scientific literature are by Francis Galton in the 1800s. Some scientists thought that the subjects were perhaps just overly imaginative, and questioned whether the reports were of genuine sensory experiences.

In the last few decades, new technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) have allowed researchers to determine that there are distinct differences (neural correlates) in both brain activity and brain connectivity between synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes.

Synaesthesia is not thought of as a disorder or disease; it is a condition that differentiates individuals, but is not something that requires treatment.

Things to Try or Ask

Do you experience colour associated with numbers, letters, days of the week, personalities, music, months etc.?

Can you think of phrases that are somewhat synaesthetic? Examples might include a ‘sharp’ taste, a ‘loud’ shirt, feeling ‘blue’, or seeing ‘red’.