Dr Nicolas Rothen will be testing people for synaesthesia at the Expo and explaining more about this fascinating condition.
Synaesthesia is a perceptual condition of mixed sensations: a stimulus in one sensory modality (e.g., hearing) involuntarily elicits a sensation/experience in another modality (e.g. vision). Likewise, perception of a form (e.g., a letter) may induce an unusual perception in the same modality (e.g. a color). Some synaesthetes experience colours when they hear or read words, whilst others may experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination. The sensations are automatic and cannot be turned on or off. People are generally born with it and it runs in families. It is not considered to be harmful in any way. Most synaesthetes could not imagine life without these extra sensations! Studying synaesthesia may help us to understand how the brain segregates and integrates different sensations and thoughts.