The economist explains us synaesthesia and shows us how ‘using the word “note” to describe an odour may be more than just metaphor’ !
THAT some people make weird associations between the senses has been acknowledged for over a century. The condition has even been given a name: synaesthesia. Odd as it may seem to those not so gifted, synaesthetes insist that spoken sounds and the symbols which represent them give rise to specific colours or that individual musical notes have their own hues.
Yet there may be a little of this cross-modal association in everyone. Most people agree that loud sounds are “brighter” than soft ones. Likewise, low-pitched sounds are reminiscent of large objects and high-pitched ones evoke smallness. Anne-Sylvie Crisinel and Charles Spence of Oxford University think something similar is true between sound and smell. [read more on the original article]
Source: www.economist.com, http://www.economist.com/node/21545975 [30-03-2012]