We've posted many times about synesthsia, a fascinating and bizarre neurological condition in which two ore more senses are linked so that someone, for example, might "taste" sounds or "hear" colors. New research is exploring whether synesthesia, which appears to be a heritable physical condition, has survived evolutionarily because it's beneficial. According to the UC San Diego scientists, "ninety-five to ninety-nine percent of synesthetes love their synesthesia and say it enhances their lives." Advanced brain scans are enabling researchers to better see the increased connections between sensory brain regions and learn more about the neural condition. From National Geographic:
The study authors think it's possible such a strange phenomenon has survived in an evolutionary sense because it offers people certain benefits to creative thinking.
Such studies could also help test an idea proposed by some scientists that all humans have the neural mechanism for synesthesia but it's suppressed for some reason…
…Synesthesia is about seven times more common in artists, poets, and novelists than in the rest of the population, and some scientists have hypothesized that synesthetes are better at linking unrelated ideas.
"Why Does Evolution Allow Some People to Taste Words?
Neglected public payphones in New York City are being turned into “GuyFi” stations: a place where one can rub one out for the sake of “stress relief.” Annalee Newitz reports on the wank booths from a company named “Hot Octopus”… The company reported that at least 100 men used the booth on its opening day […]
You’d be forgiven for thinking the videocassette format long-dead, but it turns out that Betamax is still around. Sony is finally going to withdraw tapes from sale, bringing a 40-year story to an end. The last recorders were sold in 2002. ベータビデオカセットおよびマイクロMVカセットテープ出荷終了のお知らせ [Sony; via The Verge]
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