The Man Who Tasted Shapes

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Overview

In 1980, Richard Cytowic was having dinner at a friend's house, when his host exclaimed, "Oh, dear, there aren't enough points on the chicken." With that casual comment began
Cytowic's journey into the condition known as synesthesia.The ten people in one million who are synesthetes are born into a world where one sensation (such as sound) conjures up one or more others
(such as taste or color). Although scientists have known about synesthesia for two hundred years,
until now the condition has remained a mystery. Extensive experiments with more than forty synesthetes led Richard Cytowic to an explanation of synesthesia--and to a new conception of the organization of the mind, one that emphasized the primacy of emotion over reason.Because there were not enough points on chicken served at a dinner almost two decades ago, Cytowic came to explore a deeper reality that he believes exists in all individuals, but usually below the surface of awareness. In this medical detective adventure, he reveals the brain to be an active explorer, not just a passive receiver, and offers a new view of what it means to be human--a view that turns upside down conventional ideas about reason, emotion, and who we are.* Not for sale in the United
Kingdom and Eire

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262532556
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2003
  • Series: Bradford Books Series
  • Pages: 296
  • Sales rank: 435,732
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.75 (d)

Meet the Author

Jonathan Cole, D.M., F.R.C.P., is Consultant in Clinical Neurophysiology, Poole Hospital, and at Salisbury Hospital (with its Spinal Centre), a Professor at Bournemouth University and a visiting
Senior Lecturer, Southampton University.
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Table of Contents

Foreword to the MIT Press Edition
List of Illustrations and Tables
Acknowledgements
Pt. 1 A Medical Mystery Tale
1 February 10, 1980: Not Enough Points on the Chicken 3
2 The World Turned Inside Out 6
3 1957-Down in the Basement: The Making of a Neurologist 9
4 How the Brain Works: The Standard View 18
5 Winters 1977 and 1978: "There Is Nothing Wrong With Your Eyes" 26
6 Direct Experience, Technology, and Inner Knowledge 36
7 March 25, 1980: Blinding Red Jaggers 46
8 Down in the Basement: The History of Synesthesia 51
9 April 10, 1980: "Taste This!" 64
10 Diagnosing Synesthesia 73
11 April 25, 1980: Where Is the Link? 80
12 Painting the Ceiling 89
13 Summer 1980: Bringing Things to a Close 99
14 September 1983: "Bizarre Medical Oddity Affects Millions!" 111
15 Form Constants and Explaining Ineffable Experiences 118
16 Altered States of Consciousness 127
17 May 21, 1981: Taking Drugs 138
18 June 29, 1981: Bride of Frankenstein, Revisited 144
19 How the Brain Works: The New View 153
20 The Implications of Synesthesia 163
21 October 5, 1982: The Reverend and Martinis 172
Pt. 2 Essays on the Primacy of Emotion
1 The Anthropic Principle 186
2 Free Lunch and Imagination 189
3 Consciousness Is a Type of Emotion 194
4 The Limits of Artificial Intelligence 197
5 Different Kinds of Knowledge 202
6 The Experience of Metaphor 206
7 Emotion Has a Logic of Its Own 211
8 Other People's Experience 216
9 The Depth at Which We Really Live 218
10 Reason Is the Endless Paperwork of the Mind 222
11 Science and Spirituality 225
Afterword 231
Notes 257
Suggested Reading 268
Index 271
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 7, 2002

    Great books

    Easy to read for anyone with a basic knowledge of science. It is a very interesting book and I would recommend it to anyone.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2001

    Great Treatment for Scientism

    The conclusions are unremarkable in the context of Perennial Wisdom, but in reaching them from a neurological perspective the book illustrates a fascinating triumph of science over Scientism.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 12, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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