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Created Sep 24, 2008












The place where I (heykelley) can be OCD and organize my many mounting machinations of color. You are welcome to join, but please do not add any palettes, patterns, or colors to this group. This is strictly for my own organizational (and display) purposes.

My Synesthesia

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I found and took the Synesthesia Battery of tests at this week and was so excited about the visulization software that they had for spatial-sequence that I couldn't stop thinking about it. All week I've been researching more about all forms of synesthesia (which is how I found all those awesome articles that I linked in my first post).

Toward the beginning of my Googling, I came across a page talking about synesthesia and asking for synesthetes in the Houston area to be volunteers for their research. However, the page had no dates on it, and there was no link to that page from anywhere else on the site. I decided to give it a shot anyway and email the doctor (Dr. Eagleman at Baylor) to find out. To my surprise me emailed me back within the hour and put me in contact with one of his graduate students!

I've been corresponding with her all week, and she asked me to participate in their research. The experiment they are running right now involves doing an fMRI of the brain while the synesthete performs certain tasks (I don't know all the details yet) to see which areas of the brain are working for different things. I'm scheduled to do this next Thursday morning. Woohoo!

She also asked me if anyone in my family had grapheme-color synesthesia since they are doing research to trace this genetically. Coincidentally, I was planning to visit my parents that afternoon and talk to them about it. Strangely, up until this point nobody in my family even knew about my synesthesia. I spoke to my family about it. My mom was trying to understand the concepts but was having trouble, so I was certain she didn't have it. She asked me to explain the grapheme-color variant one more time, so I did. Thus our conversation follows.

Kelley: For example, ask someone "What color is 5?" and they--
Mom: -- GREEN! -- gasp! -- *covers her mouth in surprise*
Kelley: Mom! Oh my god! You have synesthesia!
Mom: *still slightly in shock* ... But... I didn't understand what you meant until now. I never even thought about it, actually, until now.
Kelley: *elated* So your five is green? Mine is blue!!
Mom: But I can only go up to five... And only ABC... But E is yellow. And 1 is always yellow....
Kelley: *bouncing like a loon*

I'm still excited about it, and every time I remember her blurting out "GREEN!" and then covering her mouth in surprise... I just can't help but giggle! I have never met anyone IN PERSON with synesthesia. It's one thing to talk about it online, but I didn't realize how different (and validating) it would be to actually speak to someone who shares something so special with you.

In any case, I can't wait for the fMRI next week. I'll post about it here! It would be so awesome if they let me have a couple of the pictures. (Oh yeah and they said they will pay me for my time, too! Wow.)

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