An 11-year-old girl from Nepal Deepti Regmi is suffering from a rare sensory disorder – called Synaesthesia. She can identify colors while blindfolded and her online footage shows the girl blindfolded, sniffing different colors and identifying them correctly. She could even distinguish the colors on a newspaper page.
Deepti Regmi believes that her ability is a gift from God. She has been training to sharpen her sense of smell with the hope that she will eventually be able to use her ability to help the visually impaired. She appears in footage originally posted to Daily Mail identifying colors while blindfolded by sniffing various objects.
Synesthesia is a neurological condition that causes the brain to process data in the form of several senses at once.The condition isn’t fully understood, but it is thought to be genetic, and it affects more women than men. It has derived its name from the Greek language, meaning “to perceive together”–comes in many varieties. Some synesthetes hear, smell, taste or feel pain in color. Others taste shapes, and still, others perceive written digits, letters and words in color.
Different types of synesthesia include the following:
- Smelling certain scents when hearing certain sounds.
- Seeing music as colors in the air (music-color synesthesia).
- Tasting words (lexical-gustatory synesthesia).
- Feeling that certain textures cause certain emotions (tactile-emotion synesthesia).
- Feeling that time has a physical characteristic (time-space synesthesia).
- Seeing a certain color when feeling pain.
- Seeing sign language as colors.
In all its incidence is about one in 2,000 people but some experts suspect that as many as one in 300 people have some variation of the condition.The most common form of synesthesia, researchers believe, is colored hearing: sounds, music or voices seen as colors. Most synesthetes report that they see such sounds internally, in “the mind’s eye.”Studies have confirmed that the phenomenon is biological, automatic and apparently unlearned, distinct from both hallucination and metaphor.
Some synesthetes report experiencing sensory overload, becoming exhausted from so much stimulation. But usually the condition is not a problem–indeed, most synesthetes treasure what they consider a bonus sense. Many creative people in the world including writer Vladimir Nabokov, composer Olivier Messiaen and the physicist Richard Feynman were reputedly synesthetes.
Dr. Kamal Kant Kohli
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