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kjusewiczh's picture

Hearing Colors

In class on Thursday we talked about how we perceive touch and sound differently because of the different receptors we have and where they lead to in the brain. While we were talking about this I remembered hearing of a disorder where people's senses never fully separate. I looked it up, and it turns out this disorder is called synesthesia. In this disorder, the senses never fully separate. This causes many interesting outcomes. For instance, there are people who see colors when they hear different tones, or taste something when they are touching a certain object. I think this disorder leads to many interesting questions regarding the nervous system.

This disorder clearly implies that our senses were not always separated. This could explain how children learn so quickly when they are young. It would be much easier to learn if they heard the word red and then in their head saw the color red. This would ensure that words would connect with their meanings and could explain how children are able to learn so much so quickly.

The question that then arises is how the senses are able to be connected and then separate. Do nerve endings change location? I think it is clear that there are not taste receptors on the hand, since the taste does not always match up with the object. There must then be faulty wiring that occurs in the brain. I think the the question of how this occurs and why are very interesting and I would love to look into it further. After all, is it could to have our senses connected or does it impede our ability to move through the world in the same way everyone else does? Is any of that even important? Are our senses meant to be completely separated or are we meant to experience everything in a way that engages all of our senses?

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