21 November 2007

Fusiform Gyrus Sounds Good

While I’m not a synesthete myself, 'fusiform gyrus' has got to be one of the yummiest phrases around. It takes the mouth so many places, & sounds like an onomatopoeic compression of Goldfrapp’s Strict Machine.

To neuroscientist Vilayanur Ramachandran, the fusiform gyrus section of the brain may be the key to the ‘linked senses’ phenomenon of synesthesia. The fusiform gyrus is part of the temporal lobe and houses the areas responsible for color and number perception, which happen to be next to one another. Noting the hereditary nature of the condition, Ramachandran posits that in synesthetes there is cross-wiring between these two areas resulting in simultaneous perception of sensory input and very often, enhanced creativity.

Ramachandran is a dynamic and entertaining speaker. In the TED Talk below he expands on this theory. The section on synesthesia starts at 17:53.

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