Synesthesia: A New Book in the “Essential Knowledge” series by MIT Press

My new book, Synesthesia, is out. Order it here.

An accessible, concise primer on the neurological trait of synesthesia — vividly felt sensory couplings — by a founder of the field.

….not a disorder, but an extra trait like perfect pitch. Might evolution keep synesthesia prevalent at 4% of the population because it underlies the neural basis of metaphor and makes us more creative as a species? Food for thought.

-Richard

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One Response to Synesthesia: A New Book in the “Essential Knowledge” series by MIT Press

  1. Jaime Rae Rocha says:

    Hello. I just read something you wrote about “earworms”. You asled for comments and asked some questions but there was no where to write a comment, but I’m just DYING to comment!
    I wake up every single day with an average of 3 DIFFERENT SONGS playing in me head. At this current moment I have Pinks “What about us” and Marc Chon’s “Walking on Memphis.” So right now, only two. There was a period of time the same song was stuck in my head for months. Every time something in my environment would make this certain hum-squeak it would trigger the song to start playing again. It was the same note key and tone length as the important note in that song. It was maddening! It didn’t stop until I finally changed environments.
    You wont believe it; however, when I hear that same some today on the radio (if it happens to play) it doesn’t trigger memories of discomfort, even though I was in misery.
    I have been playing songs in my head for at least my entire adult life. I think I did in my teen years, too. I think I’ve always wanted to be a famous singer, so was always singing something; can’t say I made room for anything that what I wanted to sing. As I grew up though I realized I have no natural ability for singing, so as my voiced quieted, the ear work cranked it up. The earworm makes it impossible to listen to something else, so when I tell other people that I don’t really like music enough to have a favorite genre. I listen to music in my car, but when asked who I listen to I could not say. I’ve been called weird, but I dont think I am.
    So as these random songs that play on my head go on and on and on, me wondering when the last time I jad heard them was, I am writing you this to ask you if you hear music in your dreams. I could never sleep with music on. It keeps my brain to active. I dream to music, very random music, nothing “favorite” or “hated” about the song; it kust plays and I wake up with it in my head. No big deal.
    Also, I connect music with the strong negative and positive emotions I experience from time to time. Certain songs remind me of an ex-lover or I meet a new guy whom I have ideals about and suddenly the love songs are talking to me. (Attachment issues!) So I avoid music if I know I’m in a depressed state.
    This is all I have to say. Thank you for talong the time to read this! You have my permission to use this in any way you choose, in part or in whole if you so choose.
    Thank you, Jaime R.

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