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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Chocolate Pi BS: Synesthesia (36) Synesthesia 31 Mar 00

This morning in in my Intro Neurobiology course, the professor was talking about the levels of organization of cells in the brain cortex which recieve input from the eyes. After photons hit the photoreceptor cells in the retina and are translated into electrochemical signals, the information travels through several different cell types and eventually ends up in the cortex. There, the information is divided up, with some cells interpreting directional information (movement stuff) and luminosity (amount of light recieved). The "blob cells" deal with color, form and texture information.
The professor's subsequent brief comments on what would happen if this organization got disrupted in some way reminded me of a recent discussion sparked by an issue of Discover which had an article on synestheisa (which I will no doubt misspell every time I write it), the condition where sensory input is mixed up in some way; tasting shapes, seeing sounds, hearing colors. In an unscientific sampling of people in my dorm, I found that getting colors associated with letters or numbers was by far the most common form of synesthiesia. Personally, I've always gotten color and texture for single sounds (not pieces of complicated music); my computer is making a fuzzy grey hum right now, my roommate's voice is cylindrical and pinkish, my neighbor's voice is red-brown and suede, the carillion is blue and yellow and flat. My best friend gets not only color but personality for the digits 0-9 and then mixes these for larger numbers.

I'm curious which forms of synesthesia you other 'Catters have, and if they're more biased towards sounds in a group of musicians: what color (or sound, or shape, or smell, or texture ..) are eights? the letter p? the wind? falling water? etc.?

Chocolate Pi (studying on Friday night again)

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