The Man Who Tasted Shapes

Author: Richard E. Cytowic
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262250446
Format: PDF, Kindle
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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

Wednesday Is Indigo Blue

Author: Richard E. Cytowic
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262260557
Format: PDF, ePub
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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.

Synesthesia

Author: Richard E. Cytowic
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 1461235421
Format: PDF, Mobi
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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.

Tasting the Universe

Author: Maureen Seaberg
Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser
ISBN: 1601636679
Format: PDF, Kindle
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“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 Frog Who Croaked Blue

Author: Jamie Ward
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135249563
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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

Author: Julia Simner
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199603324
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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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.

The Proust Effect

Author: Cretien van Campen
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199685878
Format: PDF, Kindle
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The senses can be powerful triggers for memories of our past, eliciting a range of both positive and negative emotions. In this book we explore what is so special about sense memories, how they work in the brain, how they can enrich our daily life, and even how they can help those suffering from problems involving memory.

Tactical Biopolitics

Author: Beatriz Da Costa
Publisher: MIT Press
ISBN: 0262514915
Format: PDF, Docs
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Scientists, scholars, and artists consider the political significance of recent advances in the biological sciences.