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Folks with synaesthesia mix their senses – now we all know why



WHAT color is the letter A? It’s a query Nicholas Root typically asks the volunteers he has recruited for his analysis. Most give him the identical response. “They say the task is stupid and that letters don’t have a colour,” says Root.

However they do for individuals with letter-colour synaesthesia, by which letters and phrases are related to explicit colors. That features Jennifer Mankin, now a synaesthesia researcher herself, who recollects complicated her schoolmates in her teenagers by saying certainly one of them had an orange title. “It became clear to me, in that moment, that my perception of the world was fundamentally different than most other people,” she says.

Scientists have identified about synaesthesia for greater than 200 years, however for a lot of that point it has been unclear why some individuals mix sensory info – why they affiliate phrases with flavours or sounds with textures, for instance. Today, there’s a consensus that some types of synaesthesia, significantly letter-colour synaesthesia, are carefully tied with studying. The revelation is pushing researchers like Mankin to transcend asking why synaesthesia exists and discover what it reveals about how the mind capabilities.

This work has already proven how tradition influences the way in which we study and the way our considering is formed in numerous methods relying on which language we converse and write. The most recent discoveries might show much more vital: we’ve got seen tantalising indicators that many individuals with out synaesthesia unknowingly mix sensory info, which means that what we’re studying concerning the trait would possibly even inform us one thing extra far-reaching about human consciousness.

The first convincing description of synaesthesia was …

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