PSYCH 112 Lecture 1: Notes from Synesthesia Video

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21 Oct 2015
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Synesthesia Lecture Video
Synesthesia- the combination of two otherwise unrelated senses
Old woman
- Reads words with an associated color
- Sees spoken words in front of her eyes, with an associated color
- Her brother and her brothers son has synesthesia
oThe condition is likely very genetically linked
Middle-aged man
- Tastes spoken words
- Only relates tastes from his childhood
oDuring the process of vocabulary acquisition in childhood, he associated tastes
with words
Old blind man
- Sees colors when he hears words
oThe phenomenon is totally inside his brain
a CAT scan proves this (V4, a color center, and V1, another visual center,
sections of brain lit up)
- he also sees months, years, and days arranged in space around him
Second old woman (Dorothy)
- sees colors when words are spoken and also when she hears music
- when she was tested, she organized low frequency notes as darker colors and higher
frequency as brighter colors
owhen a non-synethste was asked to organize notes into colors, they organized
them similarly, though with less precision
Middle-aged woman (Heather)
- sees number as colors, but also has a “number line”
osees number lines arranged around her in space
indicates link between visual and spatial brain centers
- may come from humans’ need to understand mathematical organization
- Synesthesia was not taken seriously for a very long time
oDr. Ramachandran conducted an experiment and determined that it was real
Subjects were given this picture, and people with synesthesia could easily
discern the tringle of 2’s
Also conducted an experiment to determine connection between
synesthesia and creativity
Shakespeare used descriptions linking different senses
The condition may allow people to link conceptual ideas, which
manifests as creativity
Also showed with the “booba/kiki” experiment that we naturally associate
sounds and shapes
May show that language emerged from synesthetic connections