People Who Taste Words

Dictionary.Some people have one or more of their senses that are crossed, hence are capable of "tasting" a word before they ever speak it! From LiveScience:

For most of us, the boundaries between our bodily senses are clear-cut and rigid. But for a few rare individuals, the demarcation between vision and hearing, or between taste and touch, are less solid, with one bleeding into the other.

These people have a condition called "synesthesia," in which two or more of the senses are crossed. Some see colors when listening to music, while others associate tastes with shapes or words with colors. A very small number of synesthetes can "taste" words.

A new study finds that individuals with this last form of synesthesia — called "lexical-gustatory" synesthesia — can taste a word before they ever speak it, and that the word's meaning, not its sound or spelling, is what triggers this taste sensation.

"You can predict the nature of the taste if you know how the word sounds," study team member Julia Simner of the University of Edinburgh in the UK said. "It seems like it's not really words that are related to tastes, but certain sounds within words."

For example, many of the synesthetes reported words with the sounds "eh" or "mmm" tasted of mint, and that those containing the sound "aye" tended to taste of bacon.

Link & Image: LiveScience via Arbroath
Image: HamWithCam
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