Saturday, July 11, 2015

Perils of a Synesthesized Society.

Ever heard of Synesthesia ?   No ?  Ah well, at the outset , let us just say that it has simply nothing to do with a similar sounding Anesthesia.

Turns out,  Synesthesia is a condition  , where stimulation of one sense in a human, automatically evokes a "perception " in an unstimulated sense .

For many years I marveled at the way all our senses are "managed" in our brain. Touch, sight, hearing, taste , smell,  all developing to the level they do as we travel to adulthood, from a single fertilized Ovum.

Sensing is the easy part. Perceiving what it is, involves some smart work by the brain.

Synesthesia is what we call it when we see folks looking at numbers, and see them in various colors; there are people who hear sounds when they smell things; there are people who get a certain taste when they read words; there are people who see colors when they look at , say calendars, and everyday of the week has a color.  They may even hear sounds, for each day of the week in the calendar.

This appears to be a fine example of senses intruding into each other, in the "management area"  in the brain. (Reminds me of certain Municipal Corporations, but never mind.)  Which, to someone , who needs to work with computers , sounds like a hardware fault.  This is found in,  say, 1 out of 25,000 people, and more women seem to be prone to this

This seems to be a case of some brain circuits connecting to other brain circuits , maybe even shorting,  possibly due to  genetic reasons , when they actually should be independent.  

Software wise , precisely because of this capability  to "perceive" and understand , the brain often develops something called neural plasticity, which means ,one or more of the senses chip in , in a constructive way, to help out with a sense which is not working any more for some reason. And so you often see visually disabled folks having an amazing sense of, say , touch,  through which they learn much more than us ordinary folks.

This situation, unlike Synesthesia, is like a program being tweaked to do something additional in the brain. This "plasticity", generally positively enhances   things for the specially abled person.  

Which brings me to my pet theory, that our society and anatomies mirror each other. Clearly, anatomies came first and societies later.  

And typically, the societies learned nothing.

Synesthetic societies. With messed up social and power circuitry.

We have people, who sense colors , like green and orange, when they see people, and immediately jump to conclusions and set alarms.

We also have people who feel depressed when they see black, and are over the moon when they spy white.

We have people, who hear imaginary words, when they taste certain foods.

There are also people,  who smell something when they hear the jingle of something in someone's pocket.

I have known people who can smell something around dark people, and this affects their sense of touch. 

I know folks who see red when they are confronted with certain sounds at certain times of the day.

And of course, we have people, who see money and think "black" .

Unfortunately too, there are those who are forced to tolerate a sense of touch, and they shout red everywhere, but are surrounded by those who whose sense of sight  is on mute.

Some folks can smell a rat when they hear some words.    Some folks can "see" a lie being spoken.

The question is  whether we do anything about it.

On the other hand, a society with a predisposition towards neural plasticity , will tend to multitask, or train people to multitask.

Using a sense of reassuring touch to those who see green and orange colors where there are none. Sharpening one's sense of hearing in addition to reading and sighting things that could endanger the peace in the community.  Using the sense of sight and smell, to bring some security to what we taste.  It is all about being flexible in the common good. You become a good watcher, even though you cannot hear well.  You develop a sense of analysing taste, even though your fingers do not sense anything ; and sometimes, you suspect something, cannot see anything, but keep your ears sharp to listen , and  save something disastrous from happening.

The trouble is, anatomically, the Synesthetic folks are about 1 in 25,000 people. There is even research happening that says such folks may be creative .

On the other hand, today, our society is full of  misguided Synesthetics,  being encouraged by power hungry folks and being used by them, for their own benefit.

If our brains acted like our societies do,  they would experience fits and seizures. Which is actually a danger indication from the brain.  Sometimes , the human body listens.  And treatments are provided to right the situation.

But our societies, are yet to listen.  Or watch. Or smell the danger. The seizures are all by those, "seized of the matter"  and so powerful.  So many act mindlessly, as if in a fit. And cause more damage. You just need to read the daily newspaper to understand.

When I first heard about Synesthesia, I thought it was a cousin of Anaesthesia.

It should have been.

Then there would have been a solution to quieten all those noise making social circuits in society, with a hefty dose of something.....     

1 comment:

  1. Blogging is the new poetry. I find it wonderful and amazing in many ways.