Synesthesiograph (2009)

Synesthesia (ancient greek, "syn" - together and "aisthesis" - sensation) is a perceptual condition of mixed sensations: a stimulus in one sensory modality (e.g., hearing) involuntarily elicits a sensation/experience in another modality (e.g. vision). Likewise, perception of a form (e.g., a letter) may induce an unusual perception in the same modality (e.g. a color).

In one of the most common forms of synesthesia, grapheme-color synesthesia, individual letters of the alphabet and numbers (collectively referred to as graphemes), are "shaded" or "tinged" with a color.

The first medical description of colored hearing is found in a thesis by the German physician Sachs in 1812. The father of psychophysics, Gustav Fechner reported on a first empirical survey of colored letter photisms among 73 synesthetes in 1871, followed in the 1880s by Francis Galton.

-graph, -graphy, -grapher, -graphia - greek: to write, to record, to draw, to describe; that which is written or ...

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Synesthesia (ancient greek, "syn" - together and "aisthesis" - sensation) is a perceptual condition of mixed sensations: a stimulus in one sensory modality (e.g., hearing) involuntarily elicits a sensation/experience in another modality (e.g. vision). Likewise, perception of a form (e.g., a letter) may induce an unusual perception in the same modality (e.g. a color).

In one of the most common forms of synesthesia, grapheme-color synesthesia, individual letters of the alphabet and numbers (collectively referred to as graphemes), are "shaded" or "tinged" with a color.

The first medical description of colored hearing is found in a thesis by the German physician Sachs in 1812. The father of psychophysics, Gustav Fechner reported on a first empirical survey of colored letter photisms among 73 synesthetes in 1871, followed in the 1880s by Francis Galton.

-graph, -graphy, -grapher, -graphia - greek: to write, to record, to draw, to describe; that which is written or described.

Synesthesiograph - simulates some aspects of synesthesia, specifically, colored letters.

The French Romantic poets Arthur Rimbaud and Charles Baudelaire wrote poems which focused on synesthetic experience. Baudelaire's Correspondances (1857) introduced the Romantic notion that the senses can and should intermingle. Baudelaire participated in an experiment with hashish by the French psychiatrist Jacques-Joseph Moreau and became interested in how the senses correspond in perception. Rimbaud, following Baudelaire, wrote:

Vowels (1871).

A black, E white, I red, U green, O blue: vowels, I shall tell, one day, of your mysterious origins: A, black velvety jacket of brilliant flies Which buzz around cruel smells, Gulfs of shadow;

E, whiteness of vapours and of tents, Lances of proud glaciers, white kings, shivers of cow-parsley; I, purples, spat blood, smile of beautiful lips In anger or in the raptures of penitence;

U, waves, divine shudderings of viridian seas, The peace of pastures dotted with animals, the peace of the furrows Which alchemy prints on broad studious foreheads;

O, sublime Trumpet full of strange piercing sounds, Silences crossed by Worlds and by Angels: -O the Omega! the violet ray of His Eyes!

Due to the difficulties in assessing and measuring subjective internal experiences the study of synesthesia gradually waned during the 1930s.

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