So, I ask if you hear music in color. I know, you think it's a typo. It's not. In fact, if you ever had a conversation with Peter about what it was like for him to write and hear music, he'd say it was a colorful experience. And for him, when he heard music notes or visualized them, he actually saw different colors that coordinated with different notes. In fact, the way Peter's mind worked is a bit unusual. It's a condition called Synesthesia or referred to as Disambiguation.
Peter's sister, Pat mentioned her conversations with Peter about music and colors the other night when we were at dinner. She told me how Peter explained that when he hears music, each of the notes have their own color. So, he'd see a colorful burst with each note played right before his eyes. And then he thought about those notes, he thought about the colors that were represented. Pat also explained that for her, when she envisions the days of the week or months in a year, those words are floating around her ... That's when a spark went off in my head ... because it was exactly how I see words. I just assumed it was the "normal" way of visualizing. Apparently, not everyone does. As it turns out, Synesthesia takes on various forms ... these are just two of them.
Synesthesia, from the ancient Greek (syn) "together," and (aisthēsis) "sensation," is a neurologically based condition in which stimulation of one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway. Synesthesia has been revealed to be a mis-firing or an abnormal joining of neural connectivity whereby the occasion of one sense is accompanied by a perception within another sense. People who report such experiences are known as synesthetes.
Psychological research has demonstrated that synesthetic experiences can have measurable behavioral consequences, while functional neuroimaging studies have identified differences in patterns of brain activation. Many people with synesthesia use their experiences to aid in their creative process (and many non-synesthetes have attempted to create works of art that may capture what it is like to experience synesthesia). Psychologists and neuroscientists study synesthesia not only for its inherent interest, but also for the insights it may give into cognitive and perceptual processes that occur in synesthetes and non-synesthetes alike, and research can help with other neural connectivity problems, such as autism & ADD.
In addition to being involuntary, this additional perception is regarded by the synesthete as real, often outside the body, instead of imagined in the mind's eye, It also has some other interesting features that clearly separate it from artistic fancy; its reality and vividness are what make synesthesia so interesting in its violation of conventional perception. Synesthesia is also fascinating because logically it should not be a product of the human brain, where the evolutionary trend has been for increasing separation of function anatomically.
Thank you Karla Collins for allowing me to share this beauty with our community !
I wonder if this is why Peter was so artistic visually as he was creative musically?
Want to find out if you have Synesthesia? Think there is a connection between how you think and your creativity? Check this out:
Take the test: The Synesthesia
Battery … ://synesthete.org
Check out books … //www.mixsig.net
PBS NOVA Series, Secret Life of Scientiests,
Steffie Tomson, Researcher; //pbs.com... More Tomorrow on this interesting subject of how Peter envisioned music. I invite you to share your own experiences with Synesthesia.