synesthesiaDoes the smell of fresh air seems rectangular and the smell of coffee have bubbly cloud shape? Does a shrill car horn cause you to see the color green? When you eat chicken, does it’’ feel’’round? Is September always located two feet in front of you to the left? Does July always mean Navy Blue to you? Does the letter J "mean" yellow to you? When you read a book or someone is talking ,do you see a big rainbow full of colors? If all those question doesn’t sound strange to you, it means you are might have synesthesia.

Synesthesia is a perceptual condition of mixed sensations: a stimulus in one sensory modality (e.g., hearing) involuntarily elicits a sensation/experience in another modality (e.g. vision). Left handed , women and people who have genetic predisposition for synesthesia are more likely to develop this condition.

Some scientists believe that synesthesia results from "crossed-wiring" in the brain. They hypothesize that in synesthetes, neurons and synapses that are "supposed" to be contained within one sensory system cross to another sensory system. It is unclear why this might happen but some researchers believe that these crossed connections are present in everyone at birth, and only later are the connections refined. In some studies, infants respond to sensory stimuli in a way that researchers think may involve synesthetic perceptions. It is hypothesized by these researchers that many children have crossed connections and later lose them. Adult synesthetes may have simply retained these crossed connections.

Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) has made a new research about the synesthetes phenomen. Dr Stephanie Goodhew, lead of this research, said the research found synaesthetes had much stronger mental associations between related concepts.

Dr Goodhew said synesthetes have stronger connections between different brain areas, particularly between what we think of as the language part of the brain and the colour part of the brain. Those connections lead to a triggering effect, where a stimulus in one part of the brain would cause activity in another. Dr. Goodhew said that the result was exactly the opposite of what they had predicted. At first, they thought that synesthetes might have a more concrete style of thinking that doesn’t accentuate conceptual level relations between stimuli. From the result they found out the opposite.

The findings could help researchers better understand the mysteries of synaesthesia, which makes lots of person feeling ‘’different’’ ,  to conceive and visualize differently the world that to us seem the same. 1 out of every 2000 people walking the streets is a synesthete and a majority of those people doesn’t even know they have this kind of ‘’special’’ condition.

References:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150413214343.htm

http://www.synesthete.org/ 

 

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