I'm glad that yesterday's post seemed to strike a colorful cord with a lot of you. Thanks for the enormous amount of direct emails about your reactions and thoughts on the subject.I promise we'll email back everyone within a reasonable amount of time.
We remember one of Peter's friends sharing that when Peter said he touched a person, he'd see color representations for different people. So, to him, one person was a red and another a purple. Could you imagine what a rainbow was before him when he played on stage and worked with so many people.
Apparently it's all a part of Synesthesia ... read on:
Posted on FB by Mary Wolfe on Sista's & Brotha's wall
How someone with synesthesia might perceive certain letters and numbers.
In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme → color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored, while in ordinal linguistic personification, numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities. In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be "farther away" than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise). Yet another recently identified type, visual motion → sound synesthesia, involves hearing sounds in response to visual motion and flicker. Over 60 types of synesthesia have been reported, but only a fraction have been evaluated by scientific research. Even within one type, synesthetic perceptions vary in intensity and people vary in awareness of their synesthetic perceptions.
While cross-sensory metaphors (e.g., "loud shirt," "bitter wind" or "prickly laugh") are sometimes described as "synesthetic", true neurological synesthesia is involuntary. It is estimated that synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants. Synesthesia runs strongly in families, but the precise mode of inheritance has yet to be ascertained. Synesthesia is also sometimes reported by individuals under the influence of psychedelic drugs, after a stroke, during a temporal lobe epilepsy seizure, or as a result of blindness or deafness. Synesthesia that arises from such non-genetic events is referred to as "adventitious synesthesia" to distinguish it from the more common congenital forms of synesthesia. Adventitious synesthesia involving drugs or stroke (but not blindness or deafness) apparently only involves sensory linkings such as sound → vision or touch → hearing; there are few, if any, reported cases involving culture-based, learned sets such as graphemes, lexemes, days of the week, or months of the year.
Although sometimes spoken of as a "neurological condition," synesthesia most often does not interfere with normal daily functioning. Early cases included individuals whose synesthesia was frankly projected outside the body (e.g., on a "screen" in front of one's face). Later research showed that such stark externalization occurs in a minority of synesthetes. Refining this concept, one can differentiate between "localizers" and "non-localizers" to distinguish those synesthetes whose perceptions have a definite sense of spatial quality.
It was once assumed that synesthetic experiences were entirely different from synesthete to synesthete, but recent research has shown that there are underlying similarities that can be observed when large numbers of synesthetes are examined together. Nonetheless, there are a great number of types of synesthesia, and within each type, individuals can report differing triggers for their sensations, and differing intensities of experiences. This variety means that defining synesthesia in an individual is difficult, and the majority of synesthetes are completely unaware that their experiences have a name. However, despite the differences between individuals, there are a few common elements that define a true synesthetic experience.
... More tomorrow on the various types of synesthesia ... I'm sure some of you will fit into this category. If only 1 in 23 people are synesthetics, just think of how extraordinary those people are ... hopefully now, if you didn't realize it before, you now know that you are in an elite class of interesting people.
Self proclaimed Synesthetics have been:
Sir Robert Cailliau
Eddie Van Halen