Sunday, October 30, 2005


I read an interesting article the other day on synesthesia, the melding of the senses so that the person affected perceives smells, sounds, touch, and/or taste as colors. Others see letters and numbers as having a specific color. One of the people with this condition described chocolate as purple and made her breath smell dark blue. Interestingly, she also reports confusion as "orange." If people with synesthesia can perceive emotions as colors, does this give us a clue as to how colors affect emotions?

This could be a major breakthrough for writers. If you want to describe a character in, for example, a state of confusion, would the scene seem more vivid and real if you colored many of her surroundings orange? Is this another Universal Channel that we writers can use to tap directly into the human psyche? The possiblities are endless -- and endlessly fascinating. Aside from the potential real-world application for writers, I can see the germs of several science fiction stories here. This is one reason why science fiction authors need to be reading the science news websites -- you never know when you'll turn up a gem like this!

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