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Friday, November 9, 2007

'Ask a Scientist' About Synesthesia Wednesday, Or Lick A Toad -- Same Diff

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2007 at 9:51 AM

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Glavin! ASD doesn't rightly know what synesthesia's all about, but we think it's the reason why a delicious horchata from El Farolito tastes like Christmas. So we're leaving it to experienced scientists to explain. I mean, they've invented flubber and robots. Listen to the voice of authority:

Wednesday, November 14th, 7:00 pm

Topic: Synesthesia

How does violin music smell? What color is Thursday? To most people these questions might seem completely nonsensical, but to people with synesthesia they sound perfectly reasonable. (I've known for as long as I can remember that Thursday is a fuzzy, light olive green. Isn't it?) Synesthesia is a perceptual condition in which there is an involuntary blending of one or more of the senses. The most common form is chromagraphemia, the associating of colors with numbers and letters — but the sense-mingling can get a lot weirder. A synesthete might see moving blobs of color when tasting foods, or taste specific flavors upon hearing certain words. Some savants with computer-like math skills describe their ability in terms of being able to see the shapes and colors of the numbers they're calculating! Once dismissed as a product of an overly active imagination, drug use or even just craziness, synesthesia is finally being recognized as having a biological basis. UC Berkeley's Lynn Robertson will tell us about the current research on this intriguing condition.

Speaker: Lynn Robertson; Professor of Psychology & Senior Research Scientist, UC Berkeley

Location: Axis Cafe, 1201 8th Street (btw. 16th & Irwin) San Francisco

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Oscar Pascual

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