Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 23.djvu/869

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than "color-hearing," and more vague as well as individualistic. While in some instances the "photism," or associated color, is distinct for every note in the octave, and even for the overtones, in the associations with sounds, those with tastes, smells, etc., are barely more distinct than that tine, pleasant tastes and smells suggest bright colors, and contrariwise.

There seems to be an appropriateness in these general associations somewhat as we find in such expressions as a "sweet child." No one, I venture to say, if asked to associate colors with sounds, would make light colors correspond to low notes. More than this: Bleuler and Lehmann give a table of the number of cases in which certain colors are the "photisms" for the different vowel-sounds. On asking several persons to force themselves to make similar associations, I was surprised to find how well their answers agreed with the table. The answers were sometimes given with great reluctance, and, when evidently little more than guess-work, often disagreed with the tables.[1]

In the case of musical notes, tastes, smells, etc., the association seems to be effected by the "sensational element chiefly, if not entirely," in the vowel associations, and still more, in those with words, an "intellectual element seems to play a part." The sight as well as the sound of some letters and words brings up the "photism." We all know that some words have a character; words alike in meaning, the one of Latin, the other of Anglo-Saxon origin, often differ more in character than in anything else. In some cases it seems to be the character that forms the ground of association.

We find also visualizations of numbers; by some they are seen rising in a scale up to ten or twelve, and then breaking off, by others going around the body, and in one case even moral character and sex are attributed to them. These associations seem to be taken out of the sphere of the senses into that of the intellect. It is to be noticed that the intellectual associations are more individualistic than the sensational ones. The "photism" of the same tone is probably similar in two persons; if the same word, probably entirely different.

Of 596 persons (383 males, 213 females) examined, 76 cases were found, i. e., about 1212 per cent. Slightly more (proportionately) cases were found in females than in males. The young seem to be subject to these visualizations rather than the old; the educated than the uneducated. The tendency to these phenomena seems to be hereditary.

There are many interesting and curious facts to be noted in these phenomena; the time for their explanation has not yet come. The method that seems most promising is that of careful compilation and judicious comparison of individual cases; and I take the liberty of adding that I would be very much indebted to your readers for any reports of similar phenomena observed in themselves or others.

Joseph Jostrow.
Germantown (Philadelphia, Pa.),
August 1, 1883.



WE are gratified in being able to report that the recent meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held this year at Minneapolis, was most satisfactory and successful. It was, of course, not so large as it would have been if convened in a more central and accessible place, but we have attended smaller gatherings of this body a good deal nearer the seaboard. About three hundred members were in attendance, which, considering the obstacle of distance to be overcome by many of them, shows that there is a strong and well-sustained interest in the work of the Association. But the success of such a meeting is by no means dependent upon the extent of the congregated membership, for it may be assumed that those present were mainly selected by the earnestness of their interest in the objects of the organization. A successful scientific meeting, so remote from the great centers of population, is the best test of the vigor and prosperity of the body. No doubt it is desirable that it should most frequently meet

  1. In one case the answer to the call for an association with o was "orange, but it may be because that begins with an O". Bleuler and Lehmann give an exactly similar case when the color was visualized. Even more accidental circumstances than this form the ground of such associations. I found one person to whom Sunday always calls up the color blue (similar cases are reported by the Zurich students, and who traces the circumstance to his having worn a blue frock on Sundays in early childhood.