Learnt associations or present from day one?

I have read literature on synaesthesia that looks into whether the connections between words and colours/tastes/shapes are associations picked up from childhood and throughout life. No-one really knows, but I have read articles that say the associations are not picked up in this way.

I think they are.

For me, some words are vivid colours because of their connotations. For example, ‘holiday’ is yellow because it has happy, sunny connotations, but if ‘holiday’ was a word I’d never heard of it would be quite a dark colour because of the H and O being black.

The name Benjamin is orange, and thinking back to primary school I had a friend called Benjamin who had bright ginger hair. Is this the reason why that name is that colour? I don’t know but it’s possible.

When I think of all the people I met at uni, their names might be the colour of whatever they were wearing the first time I noticed them. This isn’t always the case but it has happened, and I didn’t even realise it until recently (and it’s one of the reasons why a name like John can be lots of different colours depending on which John, but I’ll talk about this another day).

Although I believe that connections are constantly being made and kept, it’s still not a conscious choice. I think that a synaesthete has an ‘ability’, or something different that causes the brain to hold on to the connections and then cause the person to have that colour experience at a later date when confronted with the word or name. This raises many more questions, of which I’ll have to explore in the future.


One Response to Learnt associations or present from day one?

  1. […] is why, as I have mentioned before, three separate Johns can be three separate […]

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