Meet the man who tastes words!

November 17th, 2009 - 12:55 pm ICT by ANI  

London, November 17 (ANI): What’s in a name? ‘A lot of flavour’ may just be the answer you could get from a man who can taste anything from coconuts to crisps upon hearing names of people.

James Wannerton, in Blackpool, lives with a condition called synaesthesia, due to which his sense of taste is connected to his sense of hearing so all sorts of noises trigger a taste sensation.

To the 50-year-old, Tony Blair’s name evokes the flavour of coconut, while a possibility of having a relationship with anyone called Christina cannot be considered because the word triggers tastes of salty and very soggy crisps.

Thankfully, his own partner’s name Janette has the flavour of bacon for him while Labrador barking tastes of custard.

“It’s like having a drop of taste on my tongue, one after another and some tastes are stronger than others,” the Daily Express quoted James as saying.

“The word ‘talking’, for example, gives me a taste of very fatty lamb, which is strong and quite overpowering,” he added.

But the website developer also enjoys an upside from the condition because if wants to taste a food, for example, a chocolate ice cream or a banoffee pie, all he has to is simply think about it and he experiences the exact taste, complete with the feeling and temperature of the food.

Dr Jamie Ward, a neuroscientist from the University of Sussex, explained: “We discovered his brain works differently to that of most people. There were areas of the brain that lit up in James when he heard certain words connected with tastes that didn’t light up in people without his condition.”(ANI)

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