Three is Red

At the dinner table this evening, in between mouthfuls of couscous and tofu, Emily told us that she had color-graphemic synesthesia.

Jan had never heard of synesthesia before. I was super excited. I don’t know where I had first heard of the neurological phenomenon but I was reminded of it recently on the Numberphile YouTube channel to which I subscribe:

I wanted to know more! So I asked, “What color is two?” And Emily responded without hesitation, “Blue”. Sebastian stopped chewing for a moment and just stared at her. I continued, “And what color is three?” This time Emily and Sebastian responded in unison, “Red”. I paused. Probably a coincidence. I followed with, “What about one?” They both said, “Yellow” at the same time. “And seven?” Sebastian was first to answer this time: “Pink!” Emily thought for a moment and then agreed, “Yeah, pink.”

They weren’t in agreement with every number, but enough to blow my mind. I can’t wait to see where this leads.

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