Monday, February 09, 2009

Do you see colors in music?

For the longest time, my son and I have not been able to understand why my husband doesn't "see" the shapes and movement we do when listening to music. Then today I read an article about "synthesesia" which is a neurological happening that can take many forms (not necessarily what happens to my son and I), but where you can "see" colors in sounds.

In the article I read, this particular child would go to the symphony with his parents and assumed that the lights went down so that everyone could see the colors better. "I mean, why else would they do it?" he said. He didn't realize that his parents didn't see any colors based on the music. According to the article, he never knew that his condition had a name until he happened to be researching the genetics of perfect pitch, which has been anecdotally linked with synesthesia.

No particular point here, other than it's fascinating to me how our brains work. I'm thinking again about my fascination with how Temple Grandin describes visual perception as an autistic person. And how animal language is complex and intricate, conveying an intelligence that we can't comprehend. I'm wondering how, with all of these comlexities, standardized tests are used to put kids in nice, neat, labeled boxes. The mind boggles...

No comments: