Medical Definition of Synesthesia

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Reviewed on 12/27/2018

Synesthesia: A condition in which the normal separation between the senses appears to have broken down. In synesthesia, sight may mingle with sound, taste with touch, and so on. Females are more often affected than males. People with synesthesia often report that one or more of their family members also had synesthesia, so it may in some cases be an inherited condition. Synesthesia can be induced by certain hallucinogenic drugs and can also occur in some types of seizure disorders.

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Reviewed on 12/27/2018