11/29/2011 10:37 PM
Synesthesia was first documented in 1812, but was brushed off by scientists as some form of insanity or mental disorder, but the neural condition that allows people to hear colors and taste words is now helping them understand how the brain operates!
A new study has taken a fresh look at the sensory condition and realized it’s not insanity, but rather a personification of different properties. Co-author of the study, David Brang of the University of California, explained what the condition is like for someone who actually experiences it.
"It's not just that the number two is blue, but two is also a male number that wears a hat and is in love with the number seven," he told National Geographic. "We're not sure if these personifications are [also a symptom of] synesthesia, but we think this is what derailed a lot of scientists from being interested in it. ...They thought these people were making it all up."
This condition shouldn’t be viewed as a handicap though. The researchers involved in the study have found that more than 90 percent of people with synesthesia love it and that it actually improves their lives!
Scans are available now that weren’t even thought to be possible in 1812 when synesthesia was first acknowledged, and they have given scientists the ability to see increased connections between different parts of the brain that affect the senses. These connections are thought to enhance creativity. The neural condition is seven times more common in creative thinkers like artists, writers, etc.
Scientists are making progress in their efforts to understand synesthesia, but there are still tons of questions that need to be answered! Either way, this study has proved to be a giant leap toward accomplishing their goals.
Photo Source: SXC