Monday, November 27, 2006

Carnivores eat meat, herbivores eat plants, and ....

Interesting article about a new report in the journal Nature on lexical gustatory-synesthesia. It's an extremely rare condition in which people involuntarily "taste" certain words when they hear them -- and MRI scans supposedly they're not making this up.

One subject ... hates driving, because the road signs flood his mouth with everything from pistachio ice cream to ear wax.

Another subject, upon seeing the word "castanets," always tastes tuna. Of course, those of us who love word origins sometimes have a slightly different problem. When I see the word "castanets," I taste nuts -- preferably dipped in mellifluous.


Anonymous daz said...

Aha, never had known that castanet derives from
the Spanish for chestnut. Interesting.

Makes me wonder if that Carlos CastaƱeda's last name means chestnut or little chestnut . . .

2:20 PM  
Anonymous daz said...

Then again, if you're a plant, herbivores are carnivores . . .

9:03 AM  
Blogger Martha said...


Nice twist on the old chestnut, Daz.

(And yeah, dunno about Carlos's last name. Hmmmmm....)

9:09 AM  
Anonymous daz said...

Ouch! (I prefer the old chestnuts to remain untwisted!)

9:02 PM  
Anonymous Alyson said...

interesting - you have probably heard that there are many different forms of synesthesia. i actually have a form called auditory synesthesia - i actually see colors for certain sounds (obviously including words).

12:02 PM  
Blogger Martha said...

Hi, Alyson - Yes, I recall someone saying that the color of trumpets is scarlet. You have something similar?

10:44 AM  

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