What if some symptoms “assigned” by psychologists to Asperger’s Disorder and autism are merely manifestations of synesthesia?
“A friend of mine recently wrote, ‘My daughter just explained to me that she is a picky eater because foods (and other things) taste like colors and sometimes she doesn’t want to eat that color. Is this a form of synesthesia?’ Yes, it is.” – Karen Wang
We see in this graphic how synesthesia is labeled a “defect” that is “eradicated” by normal development (literally “pruned out”). People who retain types of integrated sensory experience are often artists, musicians, and other sensory innovators (like chefs, interior designers, architects, writers and other artists) So, those who characterize “synthesia” as a developmental defect are labeling those individuals who greatly enrich millions of human lives as “defectives”. – Psychology pathologizes the most admired and treasured creative human behavior.
No touching allowed! Once “sensory” categories have been labeled and isolated to locations in the brain, no “talking to” each other is allowed. The fact that this is a totally “unreal” scheme is ignored. Without smell, there IS NO taste…
Infants Possess Intermingled Senses
Babies are born with their senses linked in synesthesia
originally published as “Infant Kandinskys”
What if every visit to the museum was the equivalent of spending time at the philharmonic? For painter Wassily Kandinsky, that was the experience of painting: colors triggered sounds. Now a study from the University of California, San Diego, suggests that we are all born synesthetes like Kandinsky, with senses so joined that stimulating one reliably stimulates another.
The work, published in the August issue of Psychological Science, has become the first experimental confirmation of the infant-synesthesia hypothesis—which has existed, unproved, for almost 20 years.
Researchers presented infantsand adults with images of repeating shapes (either circles or triangles) on a split-color background: one side was red or blue, and the other side was yellow or green. If the infants had shape-color associations, the scientists hypothesized, the shapes would affect their color preferences. For instance, some infants might look significantly longer at a green background with circles than at the same green background with triangles. Absent synesthesia, no such difference would be visible.
The study confirmed this hunch. Infants who were two and three months old showed significant shape-color associations. By eight months the preference was no longer pronounced, and in adults it was gone altogether.
The more important implications of this work may lie beyond synesthesia, says lead author Katie Wagner, a psychologist at U.C.S.D. The finding provides insight into how babies learn about the world more generally. “Infants may perceive the world in a way that’s fundamentally different from adults,” Wagner says. As we age, she adds, we narrow our focus, perhaps gaining an edge in cognitive speed as the sensory symphony quiets down. (Sensory “thinking” is replaced by social-verbal thinking)
(Note: The switch to word-concept language dominance means that modern social humans LOOSE the appreciation of “connectedness” in the environment – connectedness becomes limited to human-human social “reality” The practice of chopping up of reality into isolated categories (word concepts) diminishes detail and erases the connections that link detail into patterns. Hyper-social thinking is a “diminished” state of perception characteristic of neurotypicals)