Presentation on Synaesthesia

Event: Neuroscientist Prof. James Ward and Artist Rhea Quien On Synaesthesia

Wolfson College, Cambridge University, 16 October 2018

Synaesthesia is a compounding of the senses. Some people have their senses linked, so a number may evoke a colour, a sound may evoke a visual image. There are many kinds of synaesthesia. It enables metaphorical thinking, that is linking seemingly unrelated material. Synaesthesia is most common amongst creative people.

Part of the University’s Festival of Ideas on the theme of ‘Extremes’. Prof. Jamie Ward from Sussex University presented the neuroscience of synaesthesia.  This was followed by an illustrated talk by Rhea, who related the influences of synaesthesia in her life and family, and its consequences in her creativity.

Wolfson College Entrance

After attending your talk and viewing the Dance of Light exhibition hosted at Wolfson College in connection with the Festival of Ideas, I wanted to write to tell you that the experience has generated conversations with several others about the role of synaesthesia in art and literature, and its potential role in enhancing lives! It is a conversation that I'm sure could become very important for people working across the support services - social work, prisons, the police - as well as in education at all levels.

Kathy Rees (Associated with Wolfson College)

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