A California scientist has discovered people who can hear sounds when they see certain images, the BBC reported on Thursday.
Melissa Saenz of the California Institute of Technology realized the new form of the phenomenon synaesthesia after a grad student looked at her screensaver and asked others during a tour of the lab: "Does anyone else hear that?" New Scientist reported on Wednesday.
Saenz then sent to hundreds of volunteers an e-mail containing the moving-dot image and three more people came forward. They said they were able to hear noises similar to "tapping, whirring or whooshing," the BBC reported.
"I was surprised to realize this particular form had not been reported before and I wanted to see how common it was," Saenz said.
Synaesthesia occurs when the stimulation of one sensory pathway creates an experience in another, New Scientist reported.
In other types of synaesthesia, people can perceive numbers, letters or music as colors.