Wednesday is Indigo Blue

Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic,David Eagleman

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262012790

Category: Medical

Page: 309

View: 2314

How the extraordinary multisensory phenomenon of synesthesia has changed our traditional view of the brain.

Wednesday Is Indigo Blue

Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic,David M. Eagleman,Dimitri Nabokov

Publisher: MIT Press (MA)

ISBN: 9780262516709

Category: Medical

Page: 309

View: 2855

How the extraordinary multisensory phenomenon of synesthesia has changed our traditional view of the brain.

Wednesday Is Indigo Blue

Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic,David M. Eagleman,Dmitri Nabokov

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262260557

Category: Science

Page: 320

View: 2549

A person with synesthesia might feel the flavor of food on her fingertips, sense the letter "J" as shimmering magenta or the number "5" as emerald green, hear and taste her husband's voice as buttery golden brown. Synesthetes rarely talk about their peculiar sensory gift -- believing either that everyone else senses the world exactly as they do, or that no one else does. Yet synesthesia occurs in one in twenty people, and is even more common among artists. One famous synesthete was novelist Vladimir Nabokov, who insisted as a toddler that the colors on his wooden alphabet blocks were "all wrong." His mother understood exactly what he meant because she, too, had synesthesia. Nabokov's son Dmitri, who recounts this tale in the afterword to this book, is also a synesthete -- further illustrating how synesthesia runs in families. In Wednesday Is Indigo Blue, pioneering researcher Richard Cytowic and distinguished neuroscientist David Eagleman explain the neuroscience and genetics behind synesthesia's multisensory experiences. Because synesthesia contradicted existing theory, Cytowic spent twenty years persuading colleagues that it was a real -- and important -- brain phenomenon rather than a mere curiosity. Today scientists in fifteen countries are exploring synesthesia and how it is changing the traditional view of how the brain works. Cytowic and Eagleman argue that perception is already multisensory, though for most of us its multiple dimensions exist beyond the reach of consciousness. Reality, they point out, is more subjective than most people realize. No mere curiosity, synesthesia is a window on the mind and brain, highlighting the amazing differences in the way people see the world.

The Man Who Tasted Shapes

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic,Jonathan Cole

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262250446

Category: Science

Page: 296

View: 7023

In 1980, Richard Cytowic was having dinner at a friend's house, when his host exclaimed, "Oh, dear, there aren't enough points on the chicken." With that casual comment began Cytowic's journey into the condition known as synesthesia.The ten people in one million who are synesthetes are born into a world where one sensation (such as sound) conjures up one or more others (such as taste or color). Although scientists have known about synesthesia for two hundred years, until now the condition has remained a mystery. Extensive experiments with more than forty synesthetes led Richard Cytowic to an explanation of synesthesia--and to a new conception of the organization of the mind, one that emphasized the primacy of emotion over reason.Because there were not enough points on chicken served at a dinner almost two decades ago, Cytowic came to explore a deeper reality that he believes exists in all individuals, but usually below the surface of awareness. In this medical detective adventure, he reveals the brain to be an active explorer, not just a passive receiver, and offers a new view of what it means to be human--a view that turns upside down conventional ideas about reason, emotion, and who we are.* Not for sale in the United Kingdom and Eire

Synesthesia

A Union of the Senses

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic

Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media

ISBN: 1461235421

Category: Psychology

Page: 354

View: 3768

Synesthesia comes from the Greek syn (meaning union) and aisthesis (sensation), literally interpreted as a joining of the senses. Synesthesia is an involuntary joining in which the real information from one sense is joined or accompanies a perception in another. Dr. Cytowic reports extensive research into the physical, psychological, neural, and familial background of a group of synesthets. His findings form the first complete picture of the brain mechanisms that underlie this remarkable perceptual experience. His research demonstrates that this rare condition is brain-based and perceptual and not mind-based, as is the case with memory or imagery. Synesthesia offers a unique and detailed study of a condition which has confounded scientists for more than 200 years.

Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens

How Synesthetes Color Their Worlds

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Author: Patricia Lynne Duffy

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

ISBN: 1429928271

Category: Psychology

Page: 192

View: 4446

Imagine a world in which words have colors and sounds have tastes. In his autobiography, Vladimir Nabokov described this neurological phenomenon, which helped inspire David Hockney's sets for the Metropolitan Opera. Richard Feynman experienced it while formulating the quantum theory that won him a Nobel Prize. Sometimes described as a blending of perceptions, synesthesia occurs when only one of the fives senses is aroused but two respond. Journalist Patricia Lynne Duffy draws from her own struggles and breakthroughs with synesthesia to help us better understand the condition, while describing some of the major theories surrounding it. An illuminating examination of the world of synesthetes, Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens is a must-read for science and health buffs, as well as for artists, writers, and creative thinkers-or anyone generally intrigued by the brain, the senses, and perception.

The Hidden Sense

Synesthesia in Art and Science

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Author: Cretien van Campen

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 0262265001

Category: Psychology

Page: 200

View: 3665

What is does it mean to hear music in colors, to taste voices, to see each letter of the alphabet as a different color? These uncommon sensory experiences are examples of synesthesia, when two or more senses cooperate in perception. Once dismissed as imagination or delusion, metaphor or drug-induced hallucination, the experience of synesthesia has now been documented by scans of synesthetes' brains that show "crosstalk" between areas of the brain that do not normally communicate. In The Hidden Sense, Cretien van Campen explores synesthesia from both artistic and scientific perspectives, looking at accounts of individual experiences, examples of synesthesia in visual art, music, and literature, and recent neurological research. Van Campen reports that some studies define synesthesia as a brain impairment, a short circuit between two different areas. But synesthetes cannot imagine perceiving in any other way; many claim that synesthesia helps them in daily life. Van Campen investigates just what the function of synesthesia might be and what it might tell us about our own sensory perceptions. He examines the experiences of individual synesthetes -- from Patrick, who sees music as images and finds the most beautiful ones spring from the music of Prince, to the schoolgirl Sylvia, who is surprised to learn that not everyone sees the alphabet in colors as she does. And he finds suggestions of synesthesia in the work of Scriabin, Van Gogh, Kandinsky, Nabokov, Poe, and Baudelaire. What is synesthesia? It is not, van Campen concludes, an audiovisual performance, a literary technique, an artistic trend, or a metaphor. It is, perhaps, our hidden sense -- a way to think visually; a key to our own sensitivity.

Tasting the Universe

People Who See Colors in Words and Rainbows in Symphonies

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Author: Maureen Seaberg

Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser

ISBN: 1601636679

Category: Body, Mind & Spirit

Page: 288

View: 4773

“When I spoke of my impressions as a child, I quickly learned that my perceptions were not common; in fact, they were strange. Like many synesthetes around the world, I learned to keep them to myself. Thus I’m grateful for the present day climate of inquiry into and wonder about this nearly forgotten gift.... And while traditional medicine has always fascinated me, and research on this topic is currently burgeoning around the world, I knew I must also call on consciousness experts. As someone who lived inside the experience, I knew that anatomy alone did not, could not, hold all the answers.... The beauty of the individual testimonies in this book is that they are the subjects’ truths as only someone who knows the gift intimately can speak about it; many of them are speaking at length about it for the first time. Their words about such an ineffable experience have helped me find my own.” —Maureen Seaberg in Tasting the Universe A violinist sees a scarlet form when he plays a certain note; a rock star sees waves of blue and green as she composes a ballad; an actress tastes cake when she utters the word “table.” This fascinating mingling of the senses is called “synesthesia,” and the people who possess this amazing gift are called “synesthetes.” Synesthesia is scientifically described as a cross-wiring, or lack of chemical inhibition, between brain neurons that occurs in about five percent of the population, often among “creatives”—musicians, artists, actors, writers, and so on. Scientific research is currently being conducted throughout the world to discover more about this condition. However, experts in the fields of spirituality and quantum physics are convinced that the truth of synesthesia lies not only within traditional science, but also within the realm of the mystical and the ineffable. Step into Maureen’s glittering alternate universe as she explores this fascinating subject, combining clear explanations of groundbreaking scientific research with an exploration of deeper spiritual truths. Tasting the Universe explains and explores: Why survivors of near-death experiences sometimes “return” with this amazing gift. Why all infants are believed to be synesthetes until four months of age. The experiences of famous synesthetes such as Itzhak Perlman, Billy Joel, Pharrell Williams, and Marilyn Monroe (whose biographer, Norman Mailer, first asserted that she possessed this gift). For Maureen, synesthesia is not an idle “brain tick” that can be explained away by science (although it does offer some important clues), but a unique and ineffable ability to tap into and reveal a greater creative universe and even the divine. Follow along with her as she takes you on her own personal “Eat, Pray, Love” of discovery, prompted by her often confounding yet always amazing experiences growing up with this gift.

The Neurological Side of Neuropsychology

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 9780262032315

Category: Medical

Page: 529

View: 2275

Neurologists, neuropsychologists, and cognitive scientists work with many of the same problems and patients and yet know little about the literature and approaches of the other disciplines. The Neurological Side of Neuropsychology is a primer for neurology residents, graduate students, and established professionals from other fields who wish to enter behavioral neurology. It provides a clear and coherent introduction to contemporary neurological ideas, carefully contrasting the conventional hierarchical model of brain organization to the newer multiplex model that scientists from biological backgrounds currently use.Instead of presenting laundry lists of arcane maladies along with a key of "where in the brain the responsible lesion is," or a compendium of tests for a given situation -- the received wisdom that students are required to memorize -- Cytowic gives students the historical and conceptual tools they need not only to get up to speed regarding present knowledge, but to go forward.

Synesthesia

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Author: Richard E. Cytowic

Publisher: MIT Press

ISBN: 026234629X

Category: Psychology

Page: 288

View: 8338

One in twenty-three people carry the genes for the synesthesia. Not a disorder but a neurological trait -- like perfect pitch -- synesthesia creates vividly felt cross-sensory couplings. A synesthete might hear a voice and at the same time see it as a color or shape, taste its distinctive flavor, or feel it as a physical touch. In this volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, Richard Cytowic, the expert who returned synesthesia to mainstream science after decades of oblivion, offers a concise, accessible primer on this fascinating human experience. Cytowic explains that synesthesia's most frequent manifestation is seeing days of the week as colored, followed by sensing letters, numerals, and punctuation marks in different hues even when printed in black. Other manifestations include tasting food in shapes, seeing music in moving colors, and mapping numbers and other sequences spatially. One synesthete declares, "Chocolate smells pink and sparkly"; another invents a dish (chicken, vanilla ice cream, and orange juice concentrate) that tastes intensely blue. Cytowic, who in the 1980s revived scientific interest in synesthesia, sees it now understood as a spectrum, an umbrella term that covers five clusters of outwardly felt couplings that can occur via several pathways. Yet synesthetic or not, each brain uniquely filters what it perceives. Cytowic reminds us that each individual's perspective on the world is thoroughly subjective.

The Frog Who Croaked Blue

Synesthesia and the Mixing of the Senses

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Author: Jamie Ward

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1135249563

Category: Psychology

Page: 192

View: 4422

As little Edgar Curtis lay on his porch, he remarked to his mother how the noise of the rifle range was black, the chirp of the cricket was red, and the croak of the frog was bluish. Edgar, like many other people, has synesthesia - a fascinating condition in which music can have color, words can have taste, and time and numbers float through space. Everyone will be closely acquainted with at least 6 or 7 people who have synesthesia but you may not yet know who they are because, until very recently, synesthesia was largely hidden and unknown. Now science is uncovering its secrets and the findings are leading to a radical rethink about how our senses are organized. In this timely and thought-provoking book, Jamie Ward argues that sensory mixing is the norm even though only a few of us cross the barrier into the realms of synesthesia. How is it possible to experience color when no color is there? Why do some people experience touch when they see someone else being touched? Can blind people be made to see again by using their other senses? Why do scientists no longer believe that there are five senses? How does the food industry exploit the links that exist between our senses? Does synesthesia have a function? The Frog Who Croaked Blue explores all these questions in a lucid and entertaining way, making it fascinating reading for anyone with an interest in the intriguing workings of the mind.

Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia

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Author: Julia Simner,Edward M. Hubbard

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199603324

Category: Art

Page: 1077

View: 5156

Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon which has captured the imagination of scientists and artists alike. This title brings together a broad body of knowledge about this condition into one definitive state-of-the-art handbook.

Synaesthesia

The Strangest Thing

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Author: John E. Harrison

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

ISBN: 9780192632456

Category: Medical

Page: 277

View: 3831

'...general readers will find much that is both interesting and intriguing in this highly readable book'.' -THES'Highly recommended.' -Leonardo Digital Reviews

Mirror Touch

Notes from a Doctor Who Can Feel Your Pain

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Author: Joel Salinas, M.D.

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 0062458620

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 320

View: 5406

Challenging our understanding of what it means to be human, Joel Salinas, a Harvard-trained researcher and neurologist at Massachusetts General, shares his experiences with mirror-touch synesthesia, a rare and only recently identified neurological trait that causes him to feel the emotional and physical experiences of other people. Performing a spinal tap, he feels the needle slowly enter his lower back. If a disoriented patient flies into a confused rage, Salinas slips into a similarly agitated physical state, and when a patient dies, he experiences an involuntary ruin—his body starts to feel vacant and lifeless, like a limp balloon. Susceptible to the pain and discomfort of his patients, most of whom suffer from a host of disorders and extreme injuries, Salinas uses his trait to treat their symptoms, almost as if they were his own. At the same time, in his personal life, his mirror touch blurs the boundaries between himself and those close to him until he ends up inextricably entangled, no longer able to differentiate where he ends and someone else begins. Salinas refers to his condition as a kind of compulsory mindfulness, a heightened empathic ability that offers him invaluable clues about how to see and live the world through other people’s perspectives. This heightened sense of awareness is at the center of Mirror Touch. Through his experiences, both in his neurological practice and his personal life, Salinas offers readers insights about mirror-touch synesthesia and how the brain, in its endless wonder, can sometimes perform in a nearly superhuman, extrasensory way. In the process, Salinas reveals the full power and potential of his trait, as well as its thorny complications and often debilitating limitations. Beautifully written with intelligence and compassion and anchored by the latest developments in neurology, psychology and psychiatry, Mirror Touch is an enthralling and wholly original investigation into the unexplored corners of the brain, where the foundation of human experience and relationships take root—everything it means to think, to feel, and to be.

Synaesthesia

Classic and Contemporary Readings

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Author: John E. Harrison,Simon Baron-Cohen

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

ISBN: 9780631197645

Category: Psychology

Page: 296

View: 4122

Synaesthesia is a condition in which a stimulus in one sensory modality automatically triggers a perceptual experience in another sensory modality. For example, on hearing a sound, the person immediately sees a colour. This volume brings together what is known about this fascinating neurological condition. The above questions, and new issues arising from the recent wave of cognitive neuroscientific research into synaesthesia, are debated in a series of chapters by leading authorities in the field.

One Plus One Equals Blue

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Author: Mary Jane Auch

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 0805094059

Category: Juvenile Fiction

Page: 272

View: 7892

Branded the class loser, 12-year-old Basil reluctantly becomes friends with a bossy new girl who, like Basil, has synesthesia and who comes to Basil's aid when his estranged mother comes back into his life, turning his world upside down.

The Brain

The Story of You

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Author: David Eagleman

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 1101870540

Category: Science

Page: 224

View: 4556

Locked in the silence and darkness of your skull, your brain fashions the rich narratives of your reality and your identity. Join renowned neuroscientist David Eagleman for a journey into the questions at the mysterious heart of our existence. What is reality? Who are “you”? How do you make decisions? Why does your brain need other people? How is technology poised to change what it means to be human? In the course of his investigations, Eagleman guides us through the world of extreme sports, criminal justice, facial expressions, genocide, brain surgery, gut feelings, robotics, and the search for immortality. Strap in for a whistle-stop tour into the inner cosmos. In the infinitely dense tangle of billions of brain cells and their trillions of connections, something emerges that you might not have expected to see in there: you. This is the story of how your life shapes your brain, and how your brain shapes your life. (A companion to the six-part PBS series. Color illustrations throughout.)

Reaching Down the Rabbit Hole

A Renowned Neurologist Explains the Mystery and Drama of Brain Disease

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Author: Allan H. Ropper,Brian David Burrell

Publisher: Macmillan

ISBN: 1250034981

Category: Biography & Autobiography

Page: 272

View: 1976

A top neurologist explains the difficulty of diagnosing brain diseases through such cases as a college quarterback who keeps calling the same play and a salesman who continuously drives around a traffic circle.

Sum

Forty Tales from the Afterlives

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Author: David Eagleman

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0307378020

Category: Fiction

Page: 107

View: 1815

At once funny, wistful and unsettling, Sum is a dazzling exploration of unexpected afterlives—each presented as a vignette that offers a stunning lens through which to see ourselves in the here and now. In one afterlife, you may find that God is the size of a microbe and unaware of your existence. In another version, you work as a background character in other people’s dreams. Or you may find that God is a married couple, or that the universe is running backward, or that you are forced to live out your afterlife with annoying versions of who you could have been. With a probing imagination and deep understanding of the human condition, acclaimed neuroscientist David Eagleman offers wonderfully imagined tales that shine a brilliant light on the here and now. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Runaway Species

How human creativity remakes the world

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Author: David Eagleman,Anthony Brandt

Publisher: Catapult

ISBN: 1936787679

Category: Psychology

Page: 296

View: 7565

“The authors look at art and science together to examine how innovations—from Picasso’s initially offensive paintings to Steve Jobs’s startling iPhone—build on what already exists and rely on three brain operations: bending, breaking and blending. This manifesto . . . shows how both disciplines foster creativity.” —The Wall Street Journal “The Runaway Species approach[es] creativity scientifically but sensitively, feeling its roots without pulling them out.” —The Economist The Runaway Species is a deep dive into the creative mind, a celebration of the human spirit, and a vision of how we can improve our future by understanding and embracing our ability to innovate. David Eagleman and Anthony Brandt seek to answer the question: what lies at the heart of humanity’s ability—and drive—to create? Our ability to remake our world is unique among all living things. But where does our creativity come from, how does it work, and how can we harness it to improve our lives, schools, businesses, and institutions? Eagleman and Brandt examine hundreds of examples of human creativity through dramatic storytelling and stunning images in this beautiful, full-color volume. By drawing out what creative acts have in common and viewing them through the lens of cutting-edge neuroscience, they uncover the essential elements of this critical human ability, and encourage a more creative future for all of us.