Monday, December 19, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Do You See What I See?

Synesthesia, which I wrote about here, is endlessly interesting to me. As a creative person, the idea of this additional sensory experience is incredibly intriguing. (Am I missing out on certain sensory awareness?) I was reading this post about the condition, which mentions the documentary Do You See What I See.

At my high school, all students were required to give a speech to the entire school in order to graduate. My speech centered on perception and the idea that everyone sees things—including color—differently. I concluded that people's differing perceptions are what makes self expression so important. By expressing the way you see the world, you're sharing something with the rest of the world that might not be evident or exist otherwise, due to differences in perception. It was admittedly a 17-year-old's version of this topic, and much more based on my own beliefs than rooted in science, but ever since then (and even before), this idea of differing perceptions among people is one that has amazed me.

Do You See What I See explores these differences as related to color. Apparently, even language limits (or enriches) color perception; when words for certain colors don't exist in a specific culture, its people don't see a difference between that color and another one. (As a side note, I do have to wonder about the researcher's methods in the trailer below. He shows a member of the Himba tribe a TV screen with different squares of color and asks him to identify the differing square. I can't imagine TVs are very widespread among these people, and wonder if that's really the best way of testing them?) In any case, the documentary looks like an interesting one, and I'd like to check it out. Watch the trailer below for more information.