They soon became friend-colleagues, and she gifted him Photographer Marcia Smilack is also known for using synesthesia as a cornerstone of her process.As a “reflectionist” — her term of art — Smilack takes trippy pictures of the ocean’s surface the moment she has a synesthetic reaction, some of which have a Screamesque quality to them.A synesthete, however, might wake up one morning and the tooth glowing orange.
In fact, a growing body of evidence shows synesthesia is more common among creative types and that some of the most imaginative minds — Hockney, Kandinsky, Nabokov — were indeed synesthetic.
According to those who study the condition, cross-sensory experiences may offer a particular artistic advantage: a greater aesthetic sensitivity than the rest of us, and thus a greater likelihood to gravitate toward artistic fields.
A person no longer has to “claim” that Wednesday is indigo blue; researchers can compare activity between her cortical areas when she sees the word to a non-synesthete’s brain scan.
To take a handful of studies, there’s now a known genetic link in families, as well as a neurological basis for the most common form of synesthesia, “grapheme-color,” when numbers and letters have distinct colors.
An “ordinary” painter either captures a landscape before her or something she imagines.
A synesthetic one paints what she actually visualizes when hearing a specific concerto — or as Steen explained, what she sees when she feels the jab of a tetanus is what she perceived when her acupuncturist removed the needles at the end of a session.
In 1980, according to George Washington University neurologist Dr.
Since then, the science of synesthesia has come a long way, thanks to neuroimaging and the ability to connect somebody’s sense of the reality of the world to her brain’s architecture.
But today, Ro explained, scientists understand the anatomical basis for the seemingly random reactions, and how synesthetes have greater neural crosstalk than the rest of us.
Still, for most people, it’s nearly impossible to grasp what intertwined senses are like; how it feels to live with chromesthesia — the “sound-to-color” that Steen has — or her experience of “colored pain.” But at least artists like Steen provide some visual equivalence for non-synesthetes. Her twisted bronze and steel blue sculpture, conveys the shapes and color of the first two syllables of Dr. Even today, the synesthesia community feels tight-knit. Cytowic on the radio, Steen reached out to discuss her synesthesia, which she’d kept hidden for decades.