by Carlo Carrubba
Synesthesia- or the ability to “connect” two or more of your senses has long been looked upon as a mental illness, or a made-up condition. Today, I will be uncovering whether this condition is a hoax or the real deal.
The first piece of evidence that is in support of synesthesia is certain studies done on the brain in relation to sound. These tests showed that when a sound was played for the person with synesthesia, not only did the “sound part” of the brain activate but so did the visual cortex.
The same thing was done with letters or numbers, and the visual cortex or some other part of the brain also came alive when another was stimulated. The region of the brain that plays a role in synesthetic experiences is called the parietal lobe.
The parietal lobe is the area of the brain that is able to connect two or more senses. This process is called perceptual binding. In order to have a synesthetic experience, the perceptual binding must occur.
Another very interesting fact is that people with synesthesia are not found to have any psychotic illness such as schizophrenia or a psychopathic diagnostic. This is what proves that synesthesia is its “own thing” if really a thing at all.
Some oppose these arguments by saying that everyone experiences synesthesia. To counter that, a famous study on synesthetes showed that people that weren’t synesthetes seldom associated the same color with the same object twice. The ones with synesthesia were those that kept constant.
Right now, only 4% of the world has come forward with this condition. Scientists are expecting the numbers of those who will come forward to go up because as this topic builds momentum upon itself, more people will be willing to talk about it.
Since there is little evidence to counter the existence of synesthesia and much to support it, I stand by the fact that synesthesia is a real condition. Proven by brain scans, and studies upon studies, this condition seems more existent than ever. I believe it with all of my senses.