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leomarie
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28 Jul 2016, 2:57 pm

About a week ago I was bored, so I started writing song lyrics with my left hand. I was amazed how quickly I was able to write complete diary entries without my hand cramping - which my right hand does a lot. Now I’m trying to find out if I’m actually left-handed, but that's another story.

Some days ago I was listening to music, when I noticed my inner eye started following the location of the tones. It was especially weird since I didn't know any of these songs, but my eye kept following every single note as if I knew them from sheet music or sth (I play the piano, so I generally know how to read them). Today I can even "see" the sounds of different instruments in different locations (drum sounds in the lower left corner, strings horizontal, voice going up and down between lower left and upper right,...). I could probably draw some kind of sound map if I wanted to.

I know that sounds like synesthesia, but I never experienced something like this before; the only thing I do is picture weekdays the way I constructed my week in my handwritten calendar, with different colors for different tasks, and I got a great photographic memory. But that's pretty much all, and I read that you're born with synesthesia.
The bad thing is, while researching synesthesia, I read that it often goes along with being left-handed (maybe just a prejudice, I don't know). So my mind kinda connected these two events to explain why I suddenly visualize sounds. I know it sounds crazy and it probably is. :(

But don't get me wrong: I don't necessarily see specific colors (only sometimes), nor exact shapes. But if I focus on the music, every sound has its own position. Even with closed eyes my eyeballs are following the tones. It also doesn't affect me during everyday life, unless I focus on it. It is not a halluzination, and since I suffer from mild hypochondria it would be great not to get too many answers that go into the direction of "sth might be wrong with your brain" 8O

I'm afraid that I’m finally going crazy, that there actually is something wrong with my brain, and yes, unfortunately I'm also suffering from anxiety. And who knows if stuff like that gets worse, especially if it’s not synesthesia. I don’t know what to do... just let it happen, ignore it, expand it? I never enjoyed listening to music that much before, especially to Beethoven. But I’m scared that if this „skill“ expands it might bother me while having social interactions (I got ADD so it’s already hard enough for me to focus lol).

What do you think this could be, and how should I handle it? Would be happy to get some feedback.. thanks a lot.

Sorry for my bad grammer, it’s not my native language :roll:



Britte
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30 Jul 2016, 4:33 am

Hi_

In terms of the things you've mentioned_
I experience 4 different types of synesthesia (that I am aware of)
I am left handed
I have an eidetic memory, as well
I experience bouts with anxiety, as well

I think that, what you are experiencing could very well have been provoked by switching to your non-dominant hand. I don't believe that synesthesia is exclusive to left-handedness, although, I am not sure. If it is, I am surprised I haven't run across that fact.

I find what you are experiencing, absolutely fascinating, and, it actually is a type of 'musical' synesthesia, although, there must be some additional component, separate from synesthesia, if your eye ball is actually, physically moving towards the tones, but, perhaps I misinterpreted that. It might 'seem or sound crazy' to some, but, it doesn't to me. I can relate to it, somewhat. I read an article about a composer who would see entire compositions of notes and chords. I know there is music-color synesthesia, and there is a composer, Michael Torke, who sees D Major as blue and G Major as yellow, and perhaps, other combinations.

I say both, 'let it happen' and 'expand on it', however, I can understand your concern with the possibility of it overpowering your thoughts, or an inability to keep at bay. If you play the piano, and you compose your own music, it could take you places you'd never imagined, possible_

-I think your grammar is perfectly fine. The only thing I might tweak would be the use of the word have, in place of the word 'got'. ; )



leomarie
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04 Aug 2016, 11:39 am

Britte wrote:
I find what you are experiencing, absolutely fascinating, and, it actually is a type of 'musical' synesthesia, although, there must be some additional component, separate from synesthesia, if your eye ball is actually, physically moving towards the tones, but, perhaps I misinterpreted that. It might 'seem or sound crazy' to some, but, it doesn't to me. I can relate to it, somewhat. I read an article about a composer who would see entire compositions of notes and chords.

Thanks for your words, I'm happy someone can relate to this somewhat. So sorry for my late reply, I was incredibly busy furnishing an apartment. Do you remember the name of the composer who would see compositions?

I talked to my younger sister meanwhile and - surprisingly - she told me that when she was 14, she started "seeing" and "following" tones as well, which is what got her into electronic music (she later created her own tracks with elements of the songs she heard, she's pretty good at it). Also fascinating: She was left-handed as a child! The only reason why she switched to the right hand was because my grandpa scared her by saying that writing with the left hand causes heart attacks :evil: 8O

Britte wrote:
I say both, 'let it happen' and 'expand on it', however, I can understand your concern with the possibility of it overpowering your thoughts, or an inability to keep at bay. If you play the piano, and you compose your own music, it could take you places you'd never imagined, possible_

I'm not too talented in composing music (I think), but now I want to try playing music by ear. I just need to get my hands on a piano, since we sold ours before going to LA :cry:

Britte wrote:
-I think your grammar is perfectly fine. The only thing I might tweak would be the use of the word have, in place of the word 'got'. ; )

Thanks, I'll work on it :)



C2V
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07 Aug 2016, 12:10 pm

I'm ambidextrous / cross dominant, and noted that I was only capable of writing with my left when I was drinking. I'd get about 6 - 7 shots into a bender and lose the ability to write with my right hand. Though I write with both, I have a slight favouring of the right, I imagine because of the bias toward right-handedness in society making this just easier to conform to. But get me drunk and that went out the proverbial window, and I could only use the left.
I don't know much on synesthesia, but I can follow the "shape" of music, and especially could when I was composing it years ago, almost as if it were waves. But I think that element may be there in neurotypical peoples who are into music too - just look at the way a conductor moves.
I'm completely fascinated by eidetic memory though - I was a test subject for autism research recently and they told me I have perfect aural recall. And I thought I had no memory whatsoever and needed to write even simple things down. I'd love to develop this - how did you come by this skill, or was it just natural?


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leomarie
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18 Aug 2016, 4:42 pm

C2V wrote:
I'm ambidextrous / cross dominant, and noted that I was only capable of writing with my left when I was drinking.

That's interesting - I write more fluently with my left hand when I'm really really angry :mrgreen:

C2V wrote:
I'm completely fascinated by eidetic memory though - I was a test subject for autism research recently and they told me I have perfect aural recall. And I thought I had no memory whatsoever and needed to write even simple things down. I'd love to develop this - how did you come by this skill, or was it just natural?

For me it was just natural, but not with everything. I couldn't tell you the wall color of my old school out of my head, for example. It works mostly with maps, worksheets, colors, certain sentences in books or other specific things that I willingly try to remember, like small details in public spaces or the seat arrangement at a friend's family event (I love the loci method!). Since my boyfriend never really keeps his stuff at a certain place, he constantly asks me where his hat/wallet/charger is, and I can always tell him, since my brain secretly seems to take snapshots of everything I see, consciously or unconsciously.

I'm not sure if one can develop this, but the loci method is an excellent way to train the eidetic memory, if you ask me.

Aural recall can be a blessing (if you need to remember specific instructions at work or at school) or a curse (if you want to forget certain things someone said to hurt you).



LittleLu
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26 Aug 2016, 2:22 pm

I am synesthetic, but I can invalidate the left-handedness. I'm mostly right-handed and have severely strong grapheme->color synesthesia. I can draw quite beautifully with my left hand, though. So I'm not sure if that means I'm ambidextrous or just an oddball.

I can also see sounds exactly as you described. Mine tend to be a bit more overbearing though. Not only do I follow the sounds with my inner eye, but my outer eye at some points as well. Not only that, but some colors and shapes of music can be so strong that they can cause overstimulation.

There are "triggers" that can cause more synesthetic reactions, however. When I'm amped up on caffeine, the colors in sounds tend to be twice as strong. If I have lower energy or low motivation, my synesthesia fades a lot, but I become much more easily overstimulated if there's a random bout of it.

Not sure if any of this helps, but I did relate a lot to your post.


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friedmacguffins
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01 Sep 2016, 3:59 pm

My left hand still tends to write backwards, and was once a great source of irritation, to my kindergarten teacher.

I am synesthetic, and discovered a famous memorizer, related to me, with the same condition. I had tried to ignore it, when I saw a magazine, in my childhood, which said such images could be fixed with eye surgery. 8O

Maybe, it's a like a double-jointed thumb, or ears that can wiggle, which you sort-of left alone, so you wouldn't get in trouble for it.