Temporo-Spatial Synesthesia

Carol Steen / American Synesthesia Association

Synesthesia of the Day – Temporo-Spatial Synesthesia

Temporo-Spatial Synesthesia, also known as Time-Space Synesthesia, mixes the senses of space and time. People with this form of synesthesia see time as having a visible form. When thinking about the year, they might see it as a circle wrapped around them. A week or a month might be a sequence of rectangles laid out in a consistent pattern. A day is often a circle. Whatever form it takes for them, it does so consistently. For some, in addition to the shape, different parts can have different colors.

Credit Dankonikolic – CC-BY-SA – tap for larger

For as long as I can remember my year has been egg-shaped, with the pointy end centered on the last week in December and the broad end comprising the summer, particularly July and August. I know that makes the oval asymmetrical, with the spring side being longer than the autumn side, but that’s my egg. Depending on where I am looking in the year, I might see the months stretching out ahead and curving to the right, or behind and curving to the left. The winter end is darker and the summer lighter. The spring side is greener and bluer, while autumn is yellower and redder. There are many more details that show themselves under closer looking, and everything looks different depending on where on the year I am. I did not know that this was a form of synesthesia. If I had thought about it, I would have assumed that it was the same for everyone. Neither of these images looks like my year.

My months are graduated segments of the track of my year. My weeks are straight pieces with humps for the weekends. They can be parts of a month, or they can be isolated. My days are two twelve hour circles, bright or dark depending on the time. It seems obvious that these shapes are the result of how time was depicted in the culture I grew up in. I’m glad I grew up with analog clocks.-)

Here are a couple of links. This one is by a woman who tells a story clearly and well. This one is for people who like and understand phrases like projector-associator distinction and visual salience.

Does your year have a shape?


About arjaybe

Jim has fought forest fires and controlled traffic in the air and on the sea. Now he writes stories.
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8 Responses to Temporo-Spatial Synesthesia

  1. Lindsay says:

    This is like hearing myself talk! My year is very similar to yours, my husband and family just think I’m crackers but like you it wasn’t until my adult life that I realised not everyone thinks this way. The days of the week have colours, and certain words and voices have a ‘-ness’ but it’s so hard to put into words. Love the diagrams here, captures it really well for me. I’m going to show my family this!

    • arjaybe says:

      I’m sorry for the delay. Been working on the site.

      Thank you for your comment Lindsay. While you’re here, please download the books, or if you prefer to listen, the readings. See if the synesthesia in them is overdone or underdone. Don’t worry; they’re free.

      I just assumed that everyone had their experiences augmented by the other senses. It seemed logical that our perceptions would do that to give us a more complete picture of the world.


  2. Jennifer Williams says:

    My brother and I have the exact same monthly map in our minds and did not realize it until adulthood. It looks almost like yours except it moves counter-clockwise. I would try to explain it to people and everyone would look at me like I was crazy. I have always seen month of the year, days of the week, and numbers in this circular map and never thought anything about it until I realized it was unusual as I got older!

    Thank you for sharing your story!


    • arjaybe says:

      Thank you for taking the time to comment, Jen. Like you, I just assumed that everyone must see it, and I never asked my brother whether he did.


  3. Hey there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my twitter group?

    There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.
    Please let me know. Many thanks

    • arjaybe says:

      I wouldn’t mind at all, Lea. I don’t know that much about Twitter but I can’t see any harm in people there reading the greencomet blog.


  4. I love reading an article that can make men and women think.

    Also, many thanks for permitting me too comment!

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