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The synesthesia of true love

By on October 30, 2014

Our good friend Mercedes Hermann is a synesthete. She tastes life. Every decision she makes is about how sweet it will taste to her. When she is thinking you can watch her tongue lick her lips, tasting her next thought before it leaves her mouth. When two sensory systems overlap in this way it is called a ‘synesthesia’.

Researchers from the University of Singapore have shown that taste is very closely linked to emotions. Particularly to some emotions, such as the sweetness of love, the bitterness of loss. We all experience synesthesia in this sense.

The researchers carried out a series of experiments to see just how taste and emotions are linked. In one experiment, they asked subjects to taste a particular candy that was partially sweet and partially bitter or sour. One group was asked to write about a time they fell in love before they tasted the candy. This group rated the candy as sweeter than the control group who had not written about love.

So if you want your food to taste sweeter, cast your mind back to that first kiss… then eat your favorite desert!

Application to Hypnosis

Using sensory overlap, for example talking about sweetness or bitterness in relation to emotions, is ignored as just being a ‘turn of phrase’ by the conscious mind. However the unconscious treats it as a direct suggestion regarding how to feel about something.

If you want your hypnosis client to appreciate something, you can talk about how ‘sweet’ it will be. If you want them to let go of an attachment, talk about the bitter taste it leaves.

Here’s a link to an article describing the research.

The simple questions they asked: Does love taste sweet? Four Experiments In one experiment, the researchers asked 37 participants to compare different tastes as they applied to specific emotions. The participants rated on a scale of one (not related) to seven (highly related) whether sweet, sour, bitter, salty, and spicy could be compared to love, jealousy, passion, sadness, and betrayal. See more…

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