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Sensory experiences and Synethesia - Dissertation Example

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This dissertation reveals that Synesthesia can be described as an abnormal condition where the real information received by one sensory organ is accompanied by a perception in another…
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Sensory experiences and Synethesia
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Download file to see previous pages Once dismissed as imagination or delusion, metaphor or drug-induced hallucination, the experience of synesthesia have now been documented by scans of synesthetes' brains that show "crosstalk" between areas of the brain that do not normally communicate.
The word synesthesia comes from ancient Greek word 'syn' meaning 'together' and 'aisthesis' meaning sensation. Synesthesia can be described as an abnormal condition where the real information received by one sensory organ is accompanied by a perception in another. It is totally involuntary meaning that synesthete (person who has synesthesia) has no control over it and also is regarded by him as real. People having synesthesia think what they are seeing is real and not an imagination of theirs minds eye. Its reality and vividness are what make synesthesia so interesting.
3. Different Kinds of Synesthesia
Synesthesia is believed to have two causes:
1. Cross-Sensory Linking between different sets of neurons
2. Under the influence of psychedelic (intoxicating) drugs, after a stroke, or as a consequence of some other disability.
True neurological synesthesia is completely involuntary and automatic. Estimates on how many people have synesthesia range from 1 in 200 to 1 in 100,000 due to the difficulties associated with testing for it. It runs strongly in families, meaning it can be a hereditary
disorder running in the genes, possibly inherited as an X-linked dominant trait, which means, it can be inherited from either parent by either (girl or a boy) child.
Synesthesia which is reported under the influence of intoxicants (drugs) or which arises from such non-genetic events is referred to as adventitious...
This dissertation reveals that for several centuries artists have been inspired by the phenomenon of synesthesia and the potential of experiencing a dimension where everything is brought together - where each sense exists so close to another that it seems to become the other. With the advent of digital and communications technologies, digital devices that translate one media to another can now mimic synesthesia. The most exposed practice regarding live art and synesthesia today is the generation of dynamic visual imagery derived from the digitized properties of sound, and less focus is given to other sensory cross-wirings. Such practices often adhere to the pursuit of formal sensory correlations reminiscent of activities of the late 19th century - a far cry from the 1960's when experiments with psychedelic drugs induced temporal synaesthetic experiences, and the search was on for a radically new way of perceiving the world.
In conclusion, this leads me to ask, has the nurturing of digital devices with synaesthetic capabilities opened the way for new forms of art, communication, and perceptions of the world? If, according to neurologist Richard Cytowic, synesthesia "is something that all of us have, but only reaches consciousness in a minority of people", can artworks that apply synaesthetic strategies awaken that consciousness in those of us who have lost our synaesthetic abilities along the way? Is it possible to evoke, even for a moment, an experience comparable to real synesthesia without using psychedelic drugs? ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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