‘Hearing' Colors and ‘Tasting' Sounds: Tony Ro in New York Magazine

Professor Tony Ro (Psychology) was recently featured in a New York Magazine article about synesthesia, a neurological phenomenon in which the senses involuntarily mingle — causing a person to believe they are “hearing" colors or “tasting" sounds.
Although many scientists were skeptical of synesthesia until recent decades, research studies that use neuroimaging have shown there is a neurological basis for the most common manifestation of the condition, in which numbers and letters are perceived as having colors.
“We all have a little bit of synesthesia,” Ro said in the article, “Why Do So Many Artists Have Synesthesia?” For example, cringing in response to the sound of nails on a chalkboard is a dual-sensory experience in which auditory and physical stimulations are mingled, he said.
Scientists now understand the anatomical basis for reactions that seem unrelated. Ro, the lead author of a 2013 study published by Cerebral Cortex that identified a neural link between feeling and hearing, explained that synesthetes have more “neutral crosstalk” than the average person.

Submitted on: JUL 14, 2016

Category: Faculty Activities | General GC News | Psychology