The colourful world of synesthesia

David Eagleman, Ph.D will explore the brilliant scope of the human mind in his forthcoming lecture at the University of Sydney on the perplexing cognitive condition, Synesthesia.

Entitled "Hearing Colours, Tasting Sounds: The Kaleidoscopic Brain of Synesthesia", the lecture will consider the wide varieties of this common condition, which causes some people to experience the world through contrary sensory perceptions.

Synethesia is the triggering of one sense as a result of an experience stimulated from another sense, such as hearing symphonies in the colour blue, or tasting words or concepts.

These unusual experiences are the result of increased cross-talk among sensory areas of the brain.

Occurring in at least one in a hundred otherwise normal people, Synesthesia's perceptions are involuntary, consistent and automatic, with most synesthetes unaware that their experiences are extraordinary.

Surprisingly, research also indicates that everyone is synesthetic, but the majority of people remain unconscious of these internal sensory fusions.

With a specific focus on the musical forms of Synesthesia, the lecture will also reveal the recent advances in genetics and advanced neuroimaging that have facilitated broader understanding of this curious condition, affording surprising insights into normal brain function.

The lecture is the latest in a series of discussions presented by the Centre for Human Aspects of Science and Technology (CHAST), an interdisciplinary body supporting the integration of scientific knowledge and its human, environmental and social effects.

What Hearing Colours, Tasting Sounds: The Kaleidoscopic Brian of Synethesia

Where New Law School, Lecture Theatre 101, University of Sydney When Wednesday, 3 June, 6pm

Admission is free, Contact Valerie Morris at [email protected]


  1. Kat Heath Kat Heath New Zealand says:

    I am one of triplets and I have synesthesia. Very strong actually. My letters, words, sounds all have personalities, colours, different tones, dimensions, shades, emotions. Wednesday and Saturdays are my favourite days. Saturday is yellow and Wednesday is the same color as the word 'the'. My favourite word. A nice dark green with a yellow undertone.

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