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Quiz about The Mystery of Synaesthesia
Quiz about The Mystery of Synaesthesia

The Mystery of Synaesthesia Trivia Quiz


Synaesthesia is a term used by neuroscientists to describe a condition whereby a person may experience colours when they hear or read words, whilst other 'synaesthetes' may experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination.

A multiple-choice quiz by jungleeyes. Estimated time: 5 mins.
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Author
jungleeyes
Time
5 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
195,102
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
498
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Question 1 of 10
1. The word "synaesthesia" is derived from which ancient language? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Which of these is a common theory regarding the cause of synaesthesia? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. There are many types of synaesthesia, common figures put it at 20 but that's just by pairing up the senses in different combinations. It is thought that there are many more ways a synaesthete might experience synaesthesia. What percentage of Synaesthetes experience more than one type of synaesthesia? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. What is the youngest case of synaesthesia in a person on record? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Around how common is synaesthesia in proportion to the human population? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. Which of these famous figures is NOT considered to have/had synaesthesia? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. Who wrote the book 'The Man Who Tasted Shapes'? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Do more women than men have synaesthesia?


Question 9 of 10
9. Is synaesthesia involuntary?


Question 10 of 10
10. Finally, a silly one, what is the Swedish word for synaesthesia? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. The word "synaesthesia" is derived from which ancient language?

Answer: Greek

The word "Synaesthesia" comes directly from the Greek (syn-) "union", and  (aísthesis) "sensation", thus meaning something akin to "a union of the senses".  "Synaesthesia" is the British English spelling of the word; in American English, it is often spelled "Synesthesia", without the "a". 
2. Which of these is a common theory regarding the cause of synaesthesia?

Answer: All of these

All of these are considered possibilities for the cause of synaesthesia, although no-one has come up with a solid scientific conclusion yet. Many researchers believe we are all born with the particular X chromosome gene but most of us grow out of it or lose it.

A recent study has also shown that when certain synaesthetes hear spoken words then the parts of the brain normally dedicated to colour are used (Nunn et al., 2002). This suggests that parts of the brain that are normally used to process colour derived from vision are used instead to process colour derived from speech, Overloading of the sensory signals is an older and less common theory now. Of course it could be a combination of some or all of these.
3. There are many types of synaesthesia, common figures put it at 20 but that's just by pairing up the senses in different combinations. It is thought that there are many more ways a synaesthete might experience synaesthesia. What percentage of Synaesthetes experience more than one type of synaesthesia?

Answer: 50

From studies, researchers found that around half of all synaesthetes have more than one type of synaesthesia, such as taste, sound and touch, all producing colours (Day, 2002). Chains may potentially exist, such as speech producing taste and taste then producing colour.
4. What is the youngest case of synaesthesia in a person on record?

Answer: 3 and a half

In 1922 A. K Whitchurch reported in a essay in the 'American Journal of Psychology' on a case of a three-and-a-half year old boy, in whom noises produced colour (e.g. an electric fan sounded orange, and a frog bluish)
5. Around how common is synaesthesia in proportion to the human population?

Answer: About one case per 25 persons

While estimates have initially differed widely (ranging from 1 in 20 to 1 in 200,000), most recent research arrives at incidence rates around 1 per 25 people.
6. Which of these famous figures is NOT considered to have/had synaesthesia?

Answer: Phil Collins

David Hockney, the British artist, has the condition. He is quoted as describing the sets he has created for operatic productions as "painting themselves" after he had heard the score. The composer Alexander Scriabin created his symphony "Prometheus", a poem of fire for orchestra and simultaneous light show in which each musical note is accompanied by the colour it triggered in Scriabin's mind. Vladimir Nabokov, the Russian author, spoke of his own experience in an interview in the "Listener" magazine in 1962.

He described it as a "rather freakish gift of seeing letters in colour". He also wrote in detail about his own and his mother's synaesthesia in his autobiography.
7. Who wrote the book 'The Man Who Tasted Shapes'?

Answer: Richard Cytowic

Published in 1993 Richard Cytowic's book is widely celebrated. Julia Nunn has written published essays on synaesthesia and written psychology books, Daphne Maurer has written several essays that appear in books on synaesthesia. Patricia Lynne Duffy wrote 'Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: How Synaesthetes Colour Their Worlds' 2001. Weiss has done some research into synaesthesia.
8. Do more women than men have synaesthesia?

Answer: Yes

Studies in the U.S. have shown a female-to-male ratio of 3:1 (or 75%) while studies in the U.K. have shown a ratio of  8:1 (or 89%). 
9. Is synaesthesia involuntary?

Answer: Yes

Genuine synaesthesia is spontaneous, specific, consistent and durable. In tests, blindfolded subjects have been asked to give colour associations for letters, numbers and words. Tested again, hours, days and even months later, colour synaesthetes give a perfect repetition of original associations, while control subjects are around 85% inconsistent.

In addition, synaesthetes tend to give scrupulously detailed descriptions of colours, rather than the basic primary and secondary colour names.
10. Finally, a silly one, what is the Swedish word for synaesthesia?

Answer: Synestesi

In Swedish, it's "Synestesi". In Danish it is "Synæstesi" . The Dutch word is "Synesthesie". In Finnish, "Synestesia" . In French, it's "Synesthésie", one type of which is "audition colorée", "colored hearing". In German, it's "Synästhesie", and colored hearing is "Farbenhören". In Italian, "Sinestetici"; in Polish, "Synestezja"; in Russian, "Sinestezia" .
Source: Author jungleeyes

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