A report published in the journal Neurology, documents the case of a 45-year-old stroke victim who developed a condition called synesthesia: an extremely uncommon neurological syndrome that allows someone to feel and taste colors and sounds. The hospital in which the man was treated described it this way in a press release: “…a neurological condition in which people experience more than one sense at the same time.” Someone suffering from synesthesia may “see” words or numbers as colors, hear sounds in response to smell, or feel something in response to sight.
According to the report, the man developed strange sensations about a year after having a stroke. His symptoms were listed as follows:
* A shade of blued caused a strong feeling of disgust
* Yellow also made him feel disgust, but not as strongly
* Raspberries, which he had never eaten often, tasted like blue and he coudn’t stop eating them
* Blue tasted like raspberries
* The brass theme from James Bond movies caused ecstasy and flashes of the color light blue to appear in his peripheral vision.
* Music played by a tenor-pitched brass instrument called the euphonium turned off those feelings.
According to the report, the anonymous patient is only the second patient to develop synesthesia after a brain injury. In both instances, the stroke occurred in the thalamus which is the brain’s central relay station. Doctor’s believe in this particular case, the condition developed as the brain tried to rewire itself after the stroke.
The man is apparently trying to steer clear of of music played by a tenor-pitched brass instruments called the euphorium.