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Listening to Colours and Tasting Sounds: What Is Synesthesia?


For some time, it was thought that synesthesia was only a product of overactive imaginations, however current research have proven vital variations within the methods the synesthete mind operates in comparison with a “regular” one. Every considered one of our senses is linked to a particular a part of the mind. By utilizing magnetic resonance imaging, scientists have been in a position to present that synesthetes with chromesthesia had giant quantities of exercise within the visible elements of their mind when receiving auditory stimuli — exercise that was absent from non-synesthetes present process the identical therapy. Synesthetes have additionally been discovered to have greater ranges of white matter, which is liable for communication between totally different elements of the mind.

So why is that this? What causes some folks to style bananas when listening to classical music? The reply could lie inside their genetic code. Almost half of all synesthetes have reported {that a} shut relative additionally shares the identical situation, suggesting that it is likely to be a genetic trait. One of many main theories is that synesthesia is a results of a mutated “pruning” gene. As we develop, a number of the pointless connections inside our brains get “pruned” away. However a mutation on this course of might go away a few of these connections untouched, leading to a cross-wiring of the mind.

One of many newer focuses of analysis on synesthesia, although, has been the way it could profit these with the situation. A number of research have concluded that synesthetes have distinctive reminiscences. Analysis has discovered that synesthetes could have subtly enhanced senses: These with color-related variations are higher at differentiating between related colours, and people with touch-related variations have a extra delicate sense of contact. Moreover, synesthesia appears to be extra widespread in artists and poets, suggesting that it could improve creativity too.

Wanting towards the long run, synesthesia could also be useful in curing ailments concerned with our brains’ networking techniques and aiding these experiencing cognitive decline. It’s already been proven that synesthesia could be induced via drug use, sensory deprivation and hypnosis. Additional analysis into this might present methods for us to strengthen deteriorating connections throughout the mind and enhance failing reminiscences. Synesthesia is opening the door for every kind of neural discoveries!

Works Cited

Bascom, Nick. “Unraveling Synesthesia.” Science Information, 22 Nov. 2011.

Bower, Bruce. “When Brains Wring Colours From Phrases.” Science Information, 18 March 2002.

Choi, Charles Q. “Why It Pays to Style Phrases and Hear Colours.” Dwell Science, 22 Nov. 2011.

Cullen, Jamie. “How We All Might Profit From Synesthesia.” The Guardian, 26 April 2014.

Gaidos, Susan, and Laura Sanders. “The Colourful World of Synesthesia.” Science Information, 22 Could 2008.

Tierney, Wesley. “Is the Letter ‘A’ Pink?” Arizona State College, Ask a Biologist, 14 Could 2019.

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