Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mixing Up Senses

I heard an amazing thing the other day. Scientists have done comparative brain scans on little kids (meaning 2 or 3 months old) and adults. They showed the subjects photographs or played a sound and saw that different parts of the brain lit up. One part of the brain lit up when they heard a sound, and another part of the brain lit up when they saw a picture and so on. The brain scans were generally the same in the adults and the babies.

However, every once in a while, the babies' brain scans would be a little bit different. For instance, the sound part of the brain would light up when they looked at a picture, or if they heard a sound then the taste part of the brain would light up. Neurologists still aren't entirely sure what this means, but some have proposed that their brains are still trying to interpret the data collected from the world around them and it misreads it.

So it's like the baby could hear certain colors. Or taste the sound of your voice. Or smell a sound.

Wouldn't that be cool if it was still possible to do that? It could help those who are colorblind if they could smell the difference between blue and red.


Kathy Haynie said...

Synethesia is kind of like that, isn't it? I had a student last term who figured out how to make her sentences flow by the colors she saw when she read them. Very cool. Many of her sentences had internal rhyme, and I asked her if the rhyming words had the same colors, and she said they usually did.

Patricia said...

Bryan, you give us the coolest things to think about!