2
$\begingroup$

Can the experience of movement when mentally visualizing the network/structure of the code of a complex application, and the information that flows through the network as a programmer be a kind of synesthesia experience, or is there something else at play? Movement akin to being drawn in different directions or tilting forward, as a result of experiencing the structure.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Psychology.SE. Can you explain what you mean by "experience of movement when mentally visualizing"? Do you mean physically "drawn in different directions or tilting forward" or some kind of mental movement? What have you found when searching the internet? $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Sep 5 '18 at 11:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ The perception of being physically moved, while not physically moving. I haven't found anything unfortunately. $\endgroup$ – dsvensson Sep 6 '18 at 12:39
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Perhaps similar to watching a scary movie scene and getting the urge to move as the character is about to walk right into a trap, but in that case, there might be physical movement involved. In the question however, there's no primal reason to move, and it's more of a tool to experience the abstract information. $\endgroup$ – dsvensson Sep 6 '18 at 14:33
2
$\begingroup$

Short answer
No.

Background
The definition of synesthesia is generally as follows:

... a perceptual condition of mixed sensations: a stimulus in one sensory modality (e.g., hearing) involuntarily elicits a sensation/experience in another modality (e.g. vision). Likewise, perception of a form (e.g., a letter) may induce an unusual perception in the same modality (e.g. a color).

The most common form of synesthesia is thought to be colored hearing: sounds, music or voices seen as colors. Most synesthetes report that they see such sounds internally, in "the mind's eye." Only a minority see visions as if projected outside the body, usually within arm's reach (source: APA).

Most of the discussions I've had with peers in that field reported to work with people that see letters and numbers to have a particular color. Indeed WebMD reports that

One of the most common responses [of synesthetes] is to see letters, numbers, or sounds as colors.

Hence, I think that synesthesia often (but see the APA site) manifests itself through relatively 'simple' visuals brought about by relatively 'simple' stimuli. The number '4' appears to be green etc. In contrast, the highly cognitive complex associations you are envisioning seem unlikely to occur. Further, synesthesia is mostly coupled to the senses of vision and hearing, and not to motor functions. So, to answer your question, no I don't think so.

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ +1 I couldnt think of anything other than what you came up with regarding synaesthesia, however when the question was put forward I was wondering if I was missing something. $\endgroup$ – Chris Rogers Sep 7 '18 at 22:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.