Sunday, April 17, 2011

Synesthesia is cool.

The American Synesthesia Association announced that the Ninth Annual National Conference will be held at the University of California San Diego on October 14 - 16, 2011.

Synesthesia is a rare disorder where two senses interact with one another simultaneously. For example, Tori Amos, one of the more famous synesthetes, sees color when she hears music. Letters can also be seen as color and vice versa. Synesthesia is believed to be hereditary and caused by a cross-activation of regions of the brain that control sound and sight.

The idea of Synesthesia has been around since antiquity when ancient Romans wondered if sound could be interpreted corporeally. A few thousand years later, thanks to the advent of the internet, Synesthesia organizations have been popping up around the world. Not just in America, but the UK, Germany, Belgium, and the Netherlands all have organizations.

These organizations are comprised of different types of synesthetes working together under a commonality. Specifically, the American Synesthesia Association is a not-for-profit organization that provides information to synesthetes and furthers research on synesthesia. The ASS’s mission is to promote the education and advancement the phenomena of synesthesia. The ASA provides information to scientists, health professionals, academicians, researchers, artists, writers, musicians, and people with or without synesthesia.

Some other more well-known synesthetes are: Duke Ellington (Jazz Musician), Billy Joel (Rock Musician), Franz Liszt (Classical Composer), Patrick Stump (Rock Musician), Pharrell Williams (Rap Musician), Stevie Wonder (R&B/Jazz Musician).

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