Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Do you ever have those moments when you learn something new and the new information, concept or idea just blows your mind!?  I had the pleasure of that experience about a month ago and couldn’t wait to tell you guys about what I learned!

For relaxation and entertainment I like to listen to a podcast called “The Dinner Party Download” (find it here: produced by American Public Media. The basic format of the podcast is to simulate a dinner party, in a way, and to give you tips, information and small talk that you can use at a dinner party. (The idea is fabulous. Since, have you heard? The dinner party is dead and we need to bring it back! Read about the death of the dinner party here: Each week they tell an icebreaker joke (my favorite a dyslexic walks into a bra…J); highlight that week’s news, tell an interesting historical story, create a cocktail based on that story and they have a “guest of honor”. One particular week, the guest of honor was Pharrell Williams of the “Happy” song phenomenon. If you haven’t heard the song “Happy”, take a second to listen to it here – it will brighten your day!

During the interview with Pharrell, he mentioned that he has a condition called Synaesthesia. Have you heard of it?! Apparently only 4.4% (UK Synaesthesia Society, 2014) of the population has the condition. As Pharrell described it, he said that for him, sounds also appear as color. Apparently, a lot of musical greats also have/had the condition – people like Duke Ellington, Lady Gaga and Stevie Wonder, to name a few. You can read and/or listen to his interview here:

According to the UK Synaesthesia Society (2014) “Synaesthesia is a truly fascinating condition. In its simplest form it is best described as a “union of the senses” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together. Some synaesthetes experience colour when they hear sounds or read words. Others experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination. These sensations are automatic and cannot be turned on or off. Synaesthesia isn’t a disease or illness and is not at all harmful. In fact, the vast majority of synaesthetes couldn’t imagine life without it.”

Are you as fascinated by this as I am?! Is anyone here a Synaesthetic?

In the next blog we will talk more about it and specifically how it impacts food senses…

Emily Boldrin PhD, RD

American Public Media. (2014, March 7). “Pharrell Williams”.  Dinner Party Download.  Podcast retrieved from

UK Synaesthesia Society. (2014). Accessed September 29, 2014.


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