Tag Archives | Synesthesia

After Brutal Beating, Man’s Field of Vision Fills With Fractals

Quantum-hand-crunchGives “knock some sense into you” a whole new meaning.

Via ABC News:

Working behind the counter at a futon store in Tacoma, Wash., is not the place you would expect to find a man some call a mathematical genius of unprecedented proportions.

Jason Padgett, 41, sees complex mathematical formulas everywhere he looks and turns them into stunning, intricate diagrams he can draw by hand. He’s the only person in the world known to have this incredible skill, which he obtained by sheer accident just a decade ago.

“I’m obsessed with numbers, geometry specifically,” Padgett said. “I literally dream about it. There’s not a moment that I can’t see it, and it just doesn’t turn off.”

Padgett doesn’t have a PhD, a college degree or even a background in math. His talent was born out of a true medical mystery that scientists around the world are still trying to unravel.

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‘As We See Sound: Explorations of Audible Color’ – Visual Music 101 Event in Chicago

“Color provokes a psychic vibration. Color hides a power still unknown but real, which acts on every part of the human body.”

– Wassily Kandinsky

Musicians, philosophers, and artists have sought, for centuries, the ultimate translation of sound and vision, the ability to translate one sensual experience into another, from hearing to seeing and back again. This search for “audible color” has taken many forms, from early Pythagorean theories on the harmony of the celestial spheres to contemporary experiments with electronic music, rituals, and coordinated visual effects. Running through it all is a fascination with how existence is interwoven with relationships that often defy our understanding.

“On Sunday, February 17th at 3pm at the Spudnik Annex, Homeroom Chicago, Spudnik Press, and Access Contemporary Music present a public seminar exploring the relationship between color and sound.

As music became the inspiration for the movement towards abstraction in early 20th century European painting, artists searched for ever more meaningful ways to incorporate the language and gestures of music into their work.

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Why Some People See Sound

The senses are more intermingled than we realize — what we hear influences what we think we see, Live Science writes:

Some people may actually see sounds, say researchers who found this odd ability is possible when the parts of the brain devoted to vision are small.

Scientists took a closer look at the sound-induced flash illusion. When a single flash is followed by two bleeps, people sometimes also see two illusory consecutive flashes. They found the smaller a person’s visual cortex was — the part of the brain linked with vision — the more likely he or she experienced the illusion. On average, the volunteers saw the illusion 62 percent of the time.

“The visual brain’s representation of what hits the eye is very efficient but not perfect — there is some uncertainty to visual representations, especially when things happen quickly, like the rapid succession of flashes in the illusion,” de Haas said.

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Enhanced Glasses Allow The Deaf To See Visualizations Of Sounds

Hopefully additional synesthetic devices such as smell-o-vision spectacles are in the pipeline as well. New Scientist writes:

If you can hear, you probably take sound for granted. Without thinking, we swing our attention in the direction of a loud or unexpected sound – the honk of a car horn, say.

Because deaf people lack access to such potentially life-saving cues, a group of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon built a pair of glasses which allows the wearer to “see” when a loud sound is made, and gives an indication of where it came from.

An array of seven microphones, mounted on the frame of the glasses, pinpoints the location of such sounds and relays that directional information to the wearer through a set of LEDs embedded inside the frame. The glasses will only flash alerts on sounds louder than a threshold level, which is defined by the wearer.

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Synesthesia May Explain Healers Claims of Seeing People’s ‘Aura’

Via ScienceDaily:

Researchers in Spain have found that at least some of the individuals claiming to see the so-called aura of people actually have the neuropsychological phenomenon known as “synesthesia” (specifically, “emotional synesthesia”). This might be a scientific explanation of their alleged ability.

In synesthetes, the brain regions responsible for the processing of each type of sensory stimuli are intensely interconnected. Synesthetes can see or taste a sound, feel a taste, or associate people or letters with a particular color.

The study was conducted by the University of Granada Department of Experimental Psychology Óscar Iborra, Luis Pastor and Emilio Gómez Milán, and has been published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition. This is the first time that a scientific explanation has been provided for the esoteric phenomenon of the aura, a supposed energy field of luminous radiation surrounding a person as a halo, which is imperceptible to most human beings…

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