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Regis Auffray

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Synesthesia
9/7/2008 10:08:12 AM    [ Flag as Inappropriate ]

A fine poetess from AD taught me about this concept. It is interesting. Thank you, Tab.

Synesthesia

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Synesthesia (also spelled synæsthesia or synaesthesia, plural synesthesiae or synaesthesiae)—from the Ancient Greek σύν (syn), meaning "with," and αἴσθησις (aisthēsis), meaning "sensation" — is a neurologically-based phenomenon in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.[1][2][3] In one common form of synesthesia, known as grapheme → color synesthesia or color-graphemic synesthesia, letters or numbers are perceived as inherently colored,[4][5] while in ordinal linguistic personification, numbers, days of the week and months of the year evoke personalities.[6][7] In spatial-sequence, or number form synesthesia, numbers, months of the year, and/or days of the week elicit precise locations in space (for example, 1980 may be "farther away" than 1990), or may have a (three-dimensional) view of a year as a map (clockwise or counterclockwise).[8][9][10] Yet another recently identified type, visual motion → sound synesthesia, involves hearing sounds in response to visual motion and flicker.[11]

While cross-sensory metaphors (e.g., "loud shirt", "bitter wind" or "prickly laugh") are sometimes described as "synesthetic", true neurological synesthesia is involuntary. It is estimated that synesthesia could possibly be as prevalent as 1 in 23 persons across its range of variants.[12] Synesthesia runs strongly in families, but the precise mode of inheritance has yet to be ascertained. Synesthesia is also sometimes reported by individuals under the influence of psychedelic drugs, after a stroke, during a temporal lobe epilepsy seizure, or as a consequence of blindness or deafness. Synesthesia that arises from such non-genetic events is referred to as adventitious synesthesia to distinguish it from the more common congenital forms of synesthesia. Adventitious synesthesia involving drugs or stroke (but not blindness or deafness) apparently only involves sensory linkings such as sound → vision or touch → hearing; there are few, if any, reported cases involving culture-based, learned sets such as graphemes, lexemes, days of the week, or months of the year.

Although synesthesia was the topic of intensive scientific investigation in the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was largely abandoned in the mid-20th century, and has only recently been rediscovered by modern researchers. Psychological research has demonstrated that synesthetic experiences can have measurable behavioral consequences, while functional neuroimaging studies have identified differences in patterns of brain activation (for recent reviews see [5] Many people with synesthesia use their experiences to aid in their creative process, and many non-synesthetes have attempted to create works of art that may capture what it is like to experience synesthesia. Psychologists and neuroscientists study synesthesia not only for its inherent interest, but also for the insights it may give into cognitive and perceptual processes that occur in synesthetes and non-synesthetes alike.



Comments (6)

More Blogs by Regis Auffray
• Changes Are Coming - Monday, December 13, 2010
• More on Paraprosdokians... - Thursday, October 28, 2010
• Paraprosdokians - Sunday, October 17, 2010
• Why Can't I Own A Canadian? - Friday, August 13, 2010
• Puns for the Educated... ...?!? - Thursday, February 11, 2010
• Aspiring Writers - Sunday, January 17, 2010
• For All Who Have Wept, Weep, and Will Weep - Thursday, December 17, 2009
• A little more in the realm of humor/humour... ...as kids see it. - Sunday, November 22, 2009
• A Little Biblical Humor - Tuesday, November 03, 2009
• Sharing a smile or two... - Tuesday, September 08, 2009
• Grandma's Smokes - Thursday, August 27, 2009
• The Sandpiper - Saturday, April 25, 2009
• Newfoundland Ghost Story - Saturday, April 04, 2009
• Please help... ...it only takes a couple of minutes. - Saturday, February 21, 2009
• À Propos the Economic Crisis... - Saturday, February 07, 2009
• When Insults Had Class - Saturday, January 31, 2009
• Puns - Saturday, January 17, 2009
• My daughter's article - Friday, November 28, 2008
• The Apocalypse Quiz - Sunday, November 23, 2008
• A Lesson on the Limerick - Sunday, November 02, 2008
• Love - Wednesday, September 24, 2008
•  Synesthesia - Sunday, September 07, 2008  
• The Human Body - Sunday, August 03, 2008
• A short note about "only..." - Sunday, July 27, 2008
• The English Language - Thursday, July 10, 2008
• Age - Wednesday, July 02, 2008
• A New Element Found! - Tuesday, June 17, 2008
• A Sobering Look At The Results Of Rising Oil Prices - Tuesday, June 03, 2008
• Why Computers Sometimes Crash - Monday, May 12, 2008
• For The Pun Of It - Friday, April 18, 2008
• Rachel Corrie - Friday, March 14, 2008
• LOVE - Sunday, February 17, 2008
• Oh Where, Oh Where Has My AD Mail Gone? - Saturday, February 16, 2008
• The Old Man and the Dog - Monday, January 28, 2008
• Attitude - Saturday, January 19, 2008
• The Hospital Window - Saturday, January 12, 2008
• Wisdom? - Wednesday, January 09, 2008
• Guess what? Happy New Year (J t'a J...) - Saturday, December 29, 2007
• Je t'aime, J......, - Sunday, December 09, 2007
• Why...? - Saturday, November 24, 2007
• More on blood... - Sunday, September 23, 2007
• Blood Types and Personality - Wednesday, September 19, 2007
• Love... - Sunday, August 19, 2007
• Help save the EARTH! - Monday, July 09, 2007
• Happy Fourth of July... - Wednesday, July 04, 2007
• I'm still here... - Wednesday, June 27, 2007
• Why... - Wednesday, June 20, 2007
• I did not know... - Saturday, June 16, 2007
• Often since meeting you... - Thursday, May 10, 2007
• Encounters... - Saturday, March 31, 2007
• Blog Tag... - Sunday, February 25, 2007
• Sadness - Friday, February 09, 2007
• The limerick... - Saturday, January 06, 2007
• When? - Saturday, December 30, 2006


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