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Discuss and evaluate current research into synaesthesia - Essay Example

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Current Research into Syn?sthesia [Name of the Student] [Name of the University] Current Research into Syn?sthesia Introduction In the year 1812, Georg Tobias Ludwig Sachs described the condition of syn?sthesia. This area of knowledge has undergone a revival of interest in the recent decades…
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Discuss and evaluate current research into synaesthesia
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Download file to see previous pages 1). In the year 1690, John Locke recorded the account of a blind person, who described the colour scarlet as the sound made by a trumpet. This has generally been regarded as the first known reference to syn?sthesia. Such isolated case studies were recorded over the years for quite some time (Mulvenna & Walsh, 2005, p. R399). In the year 1883, Francis Galton provided a detailed description of syn?sthesia (Harrison, 2001, p. 28). Thereafter, syn?sthesia was regarded as a phantom condition and ignored. However, in the recent past, syn?sthesia obtained credibility among the scientific community. This was principally due to the application of brain imaging techniques. As a result, syn?sthesia has been deemed to be an authentic neurological condition (Mulvenna & Walsh, 2005, p. R399). However, it was in the 1890s that the word syn?sthesia emerged. However, this condition was known to the medical community, even in the distant past. This condition had not been codified until the end of the 19th century. The reason for this reluctance and delay was that syn?sthesia was contrary to the classification of the five senses, by Aristotle, in De anima (Greenberg , 2009, p. 363)Any description of syn?sthesia depends upon a class of central facts; namely that a small proportion of the population reports extraordinary sensations with regard to sensory sensations, like taste, shape and smell. These sensations arise from run-of-the-mill activities, such as eating, listening to music and reading. Syn?sthetes could envision colours upon hearing sounds, which has been termed as music colour syn?sthesia; or experience tastes in the mouth, while reading or speaking, which has been designated as lexical gustatory syn?sthesia (Rich, 2006, p. 444). In addition, the sensations experienced by syn?sthetes tend to be explicit, in as much as these individuals experience them consciously in their day to day life. Moreover, syn?sthetic sensations occur in addition to the usual modality specific perceptions. As such, there is no supplanting of the latter sensations by the syn?sthetic sensations. Thus, when a syn?sthete perceives colours upon being exposed to musical sounds, such perception is in addition to the normal auditory sensations that arise in the average individual (Simner, 2012, p. 2). Description of Synaesthesia Some scholars have provided a working definition of syn?sthesia as being a neurological hyper association that has as its objective greater inclusivity of its variants. This definition has been criticised, by some scholars, as being excessively inclusive. An instance of such over inclusiveness has been cited with regard to the assertion that syn?sthesia tends to be characterised by the conjoining of a specific triggering stimulus with a particular resultant experience. Such definition includes a wide range of processes that cannot be classified as syn?sthesia (Kadosh & Terhune, 2012, p. 22). In addition, some researchers have criticised the commonly held assumptions regarding syn?sthesia. For instance, the following presumption has been subjected to criticism. It states that syn?sthesia is a rare condition, wherein a stimulus producers an extra perceptual quality that is not usually correlated to that stimulus. This condition comes to the fore during the early stages of development and ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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