The Man Who Tasted Shapes

By Richard E. Cytowic

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The historical account of meeting the very first synesthete, Michael Watson, and the collaborative experiments that informed the field. The Part II essays spin out the “so what,” and why we should all care. 

Imagine a world of salty visions and square tastes. Although a minority of people experience the world this way, neurologist Richard Cytowic shows how the phenomenon of synesthesia sheds light on how all human brains function.

For 200 years synesthesia had confounded science. Now Dr. Cytowic tells the stories of extraordinary individuals and relates how a decade of experiments led him to conclude that all of us perceive synesthetically, but that the ability is usually hidden from conscious awareness.

His investigations deliver a fresh perspective on memory, the roots of creativity, the feasibility of artificial intelligence, and the importance of subjectivity.