Synesthesia involves the blending of the senses, in which shapes have taste, sounds have form, and black letters appear in colors. The curiosity has caused quite a commotion throughout the years, particularly since some people "feel" colors while others see them, and not everyone thinks that the word "New York" tastes like a runny egg, as does famed synesthete James Wannerton. It's a pretty hot neurological phenomenon famous synesthetes include David Hockney, Vladimir Nabokov, Duke Ellington, Franz Liszt, and Pharrell Williams and it's the perfect topic for Ask a Scientist's latest Ph.D.-laden party. Lynn Robertson, professor of psychology at UC Berkeley, leads the discussion of the condition, which is finally being thought of as having a biological basis, a boom to synesthetes who are sick of people telling them they're batshit crazy.
Wed., Nov. 14, 7 p.m., 2007