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Mixing the senses

Your brain usually interprets signals from the eyes as light, and those from the ears as sound. But a few people experience sounds as colours, smells as colours or even colours as smells. Around one in 2000 people have this 'mixing of the senses' or synaesthesia. Almost any combination of two of the five senses is possible, although it is most common to see a certain colour when you hear a particular sound.

Jane Mackay is a synaesthetic artist who sees colours when she hears music. Her painting of Liszt's 'Deuxieme ballade' shows low rumbling sounds on the left, and bright chords on the right.
Jane Mackay

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