The Strangest Thing
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|Format:||Hardback, 292 pages|
|Other Information: ||2pp colour plates, numerous haltones and line figures|
|Published In: ||United Kingdom, 29 March 2001|
Synaesthesia is a confusion of the senses, whereby stimulation of one sense triggers stimulation in a completely different sensory modality. A synaesthete might claim to be able to hear colours, taste shapes, describe the colour, shape, and flavour of someone's voice, or music, the sound of which looks like 'shards of glass'. Throughout history, many notable artists and writers have claimed to suffer from synaesthesia, including, Arthur Rimbaud, Wassily Kandinsky, Vladimir Nabakov, and David Hockney. The condition remains as controversial now as when first brought to the public eye many years ago - one notable scientist dismissing it as mere 'romantic neurology.' In Synaesthesia: the strangest thing, a world authority on synaesthesia takes us on a fascinating tour of this mysterious condition, looking at historical incidences of synaesthesia, unraveling the theories for the condition, and additionally, examining the claims to synaesthesia of the likes of Rimbaud, Baudelaire, and others. The result is an exciting, yet scientific account of an incredible condition - one that will tell us of a world rich with the most unbelievable sensory experiences. From the foreword by Simon Baron-Cohen, University of Cambridge '...Aside from inspiring fellow researchers, this book will do much to educate the general public about the important but often overlooked point that we do not all experience this universe in the same way. For the most part, synaesthetes would not wish to be free of their synaesthesia and if anything feel somewhat sorry for the rest of us as we go about our unisensual existence. My guess is that John Harrison's valuable book will ring a colourful bell for many people who until now did not realize that their experience had a name, and who will now be able to identify themselves with like-minded others. For all these reasons, this is quite a book.'
Table of Contents
Foreword by Simon Baron-Cohen; 1. Confessions of a physicalist; 2. Renaissance; 3. Synaesthete extraordinaire?; 4. The closet door opens; 5. When is synaesthesia not synaesthesia? When it's a metaphor; 6. Through a cloudy lens; 7. It can't be genetic, can it?; 8. Pathology and theory; 9. From 'romantic neurology' to the ISA; Glossary; Further reading
About the Author
John Harrison has held research posts at the University of London and the University of Cambridge. He has authored or co-authored more than 30 scientific articles, and is the editor, with Simon Baron-Cohen, of 'Synaesthesia: Classic and contemporary readings', and most recently 'Cognitive dysfunction in brain disorders'.
"A new look at the strange world of synaesthesia."--Time Magazine
"A treat.... investigates...brains that have a weird and unexplained propensity to mix up senses." New Scientist
"[P]rovides a useful account of a phenomenon that in recent years has come to receive increasing serious attention from cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists alike. Harrison presents the material in a way that makes it accessible to novices as well as experts."--Contemporary Psychology, APAReview of Books
|Publisher: ||Oxford University Press|
|Dimensions: ||21.0 x 13.0 x 2.0 centimeters (0.54 kg)|