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The Smell of Green Thunder: How Does Synesthesia Differ from Hallucination?

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In a condition called synesthesia, the signals between the senses are often crossed. It manifests itself in a variety of fashions and in varying intensities. Synesthetes often report hearing colors or smelling sounds, which to some is an infinite source of amusement, and for others, a source of annoyance. But are these experiences hallucinations? Or are they just as real as the rest of the world around them?

See more from Hallucinations with Oliver Sacks

Photo courtesy of Stephen Lock.

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