Kathryn Jackson, 22, from Nottingham has lexical-gustatory synaesthesia. Her condition means she can taste different flavours as she hears or reads words. Certain names cause her to taste marshmallows, apples, custard and carrots. Advertising student says can taste carrots every time she hears the name Rory
A student has been diagnosed with a bizarre condition that causes her to taste different foods every time she hears words.
Kathryn Jackson, 22, from Nottingham, can taste carrots every time she hears the name Rory, and stuffing every time someone says 'impossible'.
Across the world, one in every 5,000 people have synesthesia. But what really is it?
Synaesthesia is a condition that causes people to experience different senses at the same time.
For example, the most common type of synesthesia, colour-graphemic, causes those with the condition to associate words and numbers with colours. Across the world, one in every 5,000 people have synesthesia, according to Boston University. But lexical-gustatory synaesthesia is a rare form of the condition and affects less than one in 100,000 people. James Wannerton, the president of UK Synaesthesia Association said: 'Synaesthesia is caused by cross activation between two normally separate areas of the brain. 'An individual with synaesthesia has extra neural connections linking these separate areas. 'The stimulation of one sense causes an involuntary reaction in one or more of the other senses. 'Someone with synaesthesia may for example, hear colour or see sound.'
Kathryn said: 'I can taste words when I hear or see them. She added: 'Some people say my condition is weird, but when I actually talk to them about general synaesthesia, I find a lot of people realise they have it on some level.
She added it's not only rhymes or sounds that trigger tastes in her mouth. She can also be prompted by childhood memories.
She says that some names taste 'awful'
Kathryn, who studies at the University of Lincoln, set up an Instagram called 'I-taste-words' to portray what different words make her taste with colourful illustrations.
The name Ella gives Kathryn the taste of jellybeans.
'I even feel food psychically in my mouth, like when I hear the word I can feel the texture of it.
She added her condition can make it hard to concentrate at university. She said: 'When I am in a lecture, it's really hard to concentrate because they will say a certain word and then a flavour of food will enter my mouth.
There is no treatment for this condition so she has to live with these tastes.