The Gist

Are Lots of Little Babies Synesthetes?

About 4 to 5 percent of the population experiences unique sensory connections. Where does that come from? Is it BS? 

The synesthesia and hand jive episode of The Gist.

Valentina Gaia Lops

Listen to Episode 427 of Slate’s The Gist:

Subscribe in iTunes ∙ RSS feed ∙ DownloadPlay in another tab 

Slate Plus members: Get your ad-free podcast feed.


On The Gist, we don’t mention Iowa once! First, Maria Konnikova of the New Yorker separates the gold-tinted truth from the rubber-scented fiction when it comes to synesthesia. She’s the author of The Confidence Game. For the Spiel, what if your host was born to hand jive?

Today’s sponsor:

Texture, the mobile app that lets you tap directly into the world’s most popular magazines using your phone or tablet. Dive deeper into Vogue, People, Esquire, Time—with interactive content for a richer reading experience. Try Texture for free at

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist