Man Who Tasted Shapes

Man Who Tasted Shapes

by Richard E. Cytowic


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Man Who Tasted Shapes by Richard E. Cytowic

"Space constraints prevent me from giving more than a mere flavour of the richness of Cytowic's thinking. With broad sweeps, he outlines a new landscape. . . . Read this book--and the more objective you think you are, the more open-minded you will need to be to appreciate it."
-- The New Scientist
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.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780874777383
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/21/1993
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 9.28(w) x 6.16(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Richard E. Cytowic, M.D., MFA, a pioneering researcher in synesthesia, is Professor of Neurology at George Washington University. He is the author of Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses, The Man Who Tasted Shapes, The Neurological Side of Neuropsychology and (with David M. Eagleman) the Montaigne Medal—winner W ednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia, all published by the MIT Press.

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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