Tuesday, October 10, 2017
The mind is very plastic, adaptive.
~~~~~Perceptual adaptation is the means by which the brain accounts for the
differences that the subject may witness, particularly alterations in the visual field.
For example, if an individual's visual field is altered forty five degrees left, the
brain accounts for the difference allowing the individual to function normally.
Or with spatial intelligence.
~~~~~Spatial Intelligence is an area in the theory of multiple intelligences that deals with spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind's eye. It is defined by Howard Gardner as a human computational capacity that provides the ability or mental skill to solve spatial problems of navigation, visualization of objects from different angles and space, faces or scenes recognition or to notice fine details. Gardner further explains that Spatial Intelligence could be more effective to solve problems in areas related to realistic, thing-oriented, and investigative occupations. This capability is a brain skill that is also found in people with visual impairment. As researched by Gardner, a blind person can recognize shapes in a non-visual way. The spatial reasoning of the blind person allows them to translate tactile sensations into mental calculation of length and visualisation of form.
Synesthesia varies from person to person and cause to cause.
~~~~~Little is known about how synesthesia develops. It has been suggested that synesthesia develops during childhood when children are intensively engaged with abstract concepts for the first time. This hypothesis – referred to as semantic vacuum hypothesis explains why the most common forms of synesthesia are grapheme-color, spatial sequence and number form. These are usually the first abstract concepts that educational systems require children to learn.
~~~~~My sudden synesthesia: how I went blind and started hearing colors
It took just 72 hours for me to lose my sight entirely. Just before my blindness hit, I had been laid up with an unknown virus that had left me suffering severe headaches and sweats. My body's immune system had gone haywire, responding to the virus by attacking my own nerves, causing loss of sight and mobility -- I had been struck down by biological friendly fire.
Going blind was devastating. I hadn't just lost my primary sense -- I had lost my livelihood too. As a television producer, my vision was my job.
My sight started to return weeks later. I opened my eyes to a strange, supernatural view. Everything was just a swirling gray fog. I was momentarily elated that the world was no longer a suffocating black cloak -- but I realized quickly that I didn't recognize anything around me. Over time, black lines started to appear, crudely constructing windows and door frames, but little else.
Slowly the gray mist dissolved into a brown muddy haze that obscured anything more than a few feet away. Color eluded me, and people were hollow ghosts with no solidity or humanness. I often had no idea where I was, and I wondered if I would ever feel normal again.
As I recovered at home, color started slowly creeping back into my life. This was a very perplexing time, for often I felt I was seeing a color but was unable to identify it. I would stare endlessly at trees and lamp-posts, desperate to match the color I believed was there with my strange sensory experience. Bright primary colors were the first I could identify with any conviction; I struggled enormously with greens, grays and any pale or muted colors. This was not the vibrant rainbow world I was used to.
Even though my visual world was still predominantly black and white, it felt like colors were talking to me, as if my senses were communicating in ways I didn't understand. Explaining my new relationship with color only provoked confused silences, and when I described it to neurologists, I was told that nobody knew what was causing it, but that perhaps my sensory system had become cross-wired.
Color information was still being transmitted to my brain, but I was receiving only part of the message. My lifelong emotional associations with colors were still intact, even if my sight was not. I tried to use language to help myself recover. "You are green," I would tell the grass, using reminders to try and bring my normal vision back online. The more I did this, the more it worked.