Types of Synesthesia


Ordinal Linguistic Personification (OLP) is typically just referred to as personification. The synesthete who has personification will automatically and involuntarily associate personalities with sequential linguistic units (Simner & Holenstien, 2007). Sequential linguistic units often include letters, numbers, days of the week, and months of the year. For instance, Monday may be cruel, and Tuesday mischievous, or the letter ‘H’ could be ornery and the letter ‘I’ shy. Cases have also been reported of object to personality synesthesia, where the synesthete associates recurring and stable personalities to objects (Smilek, et al., 2007). Though not always, OLP frequently occurs with other types of synesthesia, especially grapheme to color synesthesia. Geoffrey Rush has both of these types of synesthesia.



Simner, J. & Holenstein, E. (2007, April). Ordinal linguistic personification as a variant of synesthesia. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 19(4), 694-703.

Smilek, D., Malcolmlson, K. A., Carriere, J. S. A., Eller, M., Kwan, D., & Reynolds, M. (2007, June). When “3” is a jerk and “E” is a king: Personifying inanimate objects in synesthesia. Journal of Cognitive Neurocience, 19(6), 981-992.