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The neurological basis of synesthesia

1. What happens when the senses don't work quite as they're supposed to?

2. When more information is being delivered than what each sense is supposed to process?

3. When two senses are interconnected?

4. What about people with synesthesia?

5. How do psychologists explain the neurological basis of synesthesia?

If youâ??d like you can do a search for a test you can take to see if you have any synesthesia. Hereâ??s one example:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/humanbody/mind/surveys/synaesthesia/see/bbchorizoncolorshapespace_3.swf

As a reading suggestion, â??The Man Who Tasted Shapesâ? is a book by neurologist Richard Cytowic about synesthesia - Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses.

http://home.comcast.net/~sean.day/Synesthesia.htm

Solution Preview

1. What happens when the senses don't work quite as they're supposed to?

Do not confuse this with sensory adaptation where our senses adapt to repetitive receptors. What would happen, would we sense nothing, or would the brain substitute its own images for the sensory experiences no longer available by way of the sense organs? This is sensory deprivation. When research was conducted on sensory deprivation researchers isolated male volunteers from all patterned sight and sound. Vision was restricted by a translucent visor, hearing by a U-shaped pillow and noise from an air conditioner and fan, and touch by cotton gloves and cardboard cuffs. The volunteers took brief breaks to eat and use the bathroom, but otherwise they lay in bed, doing nothing. The results were dramatic. Within a few hours, many of the men felt edgy. Some were so disoriented that they quit the study the first day. Those who stayed longer became confused, restless, and grouchy. Many reported bizarre visions, such as a squadron of squirrels or a procession of marching eyeglasses. Few were willing to remain in the study for more than two or three days. This test was conducted by Heron in 1957.

Ultimately, the notion that sensory deprivation is unpleasant or even dangerous turned out to be an oversimplification. The response to sensory deprivation depends on the expectations and interpretations of what is happening. Reduced sensation can be scary if you are locked in a room for an indefinite period. Still, it is clear that the human brain requires a minimum amount of sensory ...

Solution Summary

1. What happens when the senses don't work quite as they're supposed to?

Do not confuse this with sensory adaptation where our senses adapt to repetitive receptors. What would happen, would we sense nothing, or would the brain substitute its own images for the sensory experiences no longer available by way of the sense organs?

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