Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Do You See What I See?

(CNN) When Julian Asher listens to an orchestra, he doesn't just hear music; he also sees it. The sounds of a violin make him see a rich burgundy color, shiny and fluid like a red wine, while a cello's music flows like honey in a golden yellow hue. Asher, a researcher at Imperial College London, has a rare condition called synesthesia, a neurological condition in which people experience a mixing of their senses. People with the condition may see colors and movement in numbers, words or sounds.

(>>Don’t I know. Numbers, letters, words, sounds; they all combine in a garden of colors and a symphony of sounds. Yellow is a bright, sparkling flute and what I see in the written word “chemistry.” Purple, “15” and “Thursday” are all the same.<<)

As many as 1 percent of people have synesthesia, studies say. Researchers looked exclusively at auditory-visual synesthesia, the kind where sound triggers color. Brain scans have shown that people with synesthesia seem to have "cross-wiring" between brain regions: visual areas of the brain were activated in response to sound in people for whom sound triggers color.

When he was a child, Asher would go to the symphony with his parents and assumed that the lights went down so that everyone could see the colors better. "I mean, why else would they do it?" he said. I said, 'Oh, they turned the lights off so you could see the colors,' and they had no idea what I was talking about, and that's when I realized that they didn't see what I saw," he said.


Blogger D.B. Echo said...

Synesthesia is fun. I don't have it as strongly as others, but I believe I have it. Sometimes I wonder what it's like to NOT see music.


February 10, 2009 12:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I could not imagine life without it -- although I really thought everybody had it.

Music, letters, numbers, words ... they all combine in different ways to provide color and sounds. Probably even tastes, if I thought about it enough.

February 10, 2009 1:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What does Vivaldi look like?

February 11, 2009 8:24 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

A forest.

February 11, 2009 10:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't understand fully, but I can lay down on the sofa, turn thelights off and listen to different musicians/music groups, CCR for example, Chet Atkins, a good blues guitar and I hear things that I do not hear when just plain listening. CCR was awesome! Hank Williams Jr, Ray Charles & Willie Nelson are also worth the trip and as is Eric Clapton, R.L. Burnside and the riffs of Bo Diddley.

But Tom, aside from Ray Charles and Chet Atkins I don' thin kthat you've ever heard of the other ones.....

Some people jest don' have no class when it comes to music! LOL

Exit 318.

February 11, 2009 3:55 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

I *beg* your pardon. I most certainly have heard, and enjoyed the other ones.

'cept for R. L. Burnside.

February 11, 2009 4:00 PM  
Blogger D.B. Echo said...

You have not heard of R.L. Burnside? That must be rectified at once. Come On In!


Unless you're suggesting that you have not enjoyed him...

February 12, 2009 10:21 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Never head of him. Will rectify that today.

February 12, 2009 10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanx DB for rectifying Tom.........Have three of his CDs. He's not in good health these days.

Exit 318

February 12, 2009 4:19 PM  

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