Visual News reproduces paintings by an artist who has synesthesia, the ability to “see” sounds and “hear” light and colors. Though the ability has often been labeled as a “disorder” of the brain, Neuroskeptic reports in Discovery on a new study that found no brain-based evidence to support such an assertion.
Visual News quotes from the biography of Melissa McCracken: “Basically, my brain is cross-wired. I experience the ‘wrong’ sensation to certain stimuli. Each letter and number is colored and the days of the year circle around my body as if they had a set point in space. But the most wonderful ‘brain malfunction’ of all is seeing the music I hear. It flows in a mixture of hues, textures, and movements, shifting as if it were a vital and intentional element of each song. Having synesthesia isn’t distracting or disorienting. It adds a unique vibrance to the world I experience.”
“(T)he majority of studies suggest that the experience of synesthetic colors is not caused by neural activity in the brain’s color-detecting cortex, which is inconsistent with the most straightforward version of the crossed wires idea,” writes Neuroskeptic.
Artist With Synesthesia Paints Music The Way She Sees It (Visual News, April 19, 2015)
Is Synesthesia A Brain Disorder? (Discover, April 21, 2015)