Re: Differentiation/Merging of the senses

Chris Lofting (
Sat, 4 Sep 1999 02:01:07 +1000

From: "Chris Lofting" <>
To: <>
Subject: Re: Differentiation/Merging of the senses
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 1999 02:01:07 +1000

-----Original Message-----
From: Gatherer, D. (Derek) <>
To: '' <>
Date: Friday, 3 September 1999 7:54
Subject: RE: Differentiation/Merging of the senses

> One
>example of this was the forceable closure of an eye during the first few
>weeks of life (in monkey). Later examination of the visual cortex showed
>that the network used by the other eye enchroached on and 'stole' parts of
>the network for the closed eye.
>Yes, Colin Blakemore's classic experiment. So what? The monkeys don't end
>up hearing sights or seeing sounds.

Really? and how is it that you know this? Did Blakemore do backup
experiments to test this? My point was on the plasticity of the system.

>These observations manifest a plasticity 'in here' that would include
>'entanglements' where lack of exposure to sensory data reduces
>particularisation and the areas concerned are returned to a general state
>that lets them be recruited by near-by specialist regions.
>In this context, the newborn infant has a brain that is 'general' in form
>when compared to later particularisations due to nurture. The
>object/relationship distinctions, the what/where mappings, are there but
>yet refined such that the border between them is not sharply defined, there
>are entanglements where a neuron or network of neurons are in a 'general'
>state and this general state is manifest as synaesthesia.
>Well, no because then everybody would be synaesthetic as part of their
>normal development, and it's quite clear that synaesthesia is a rare
>condition indeed.

Read my points carefully and you may realise that I am saying that as part
of the re-integration process so everybody IS synaesthetic to some degree,
this manifest in an abstract way through the use of language (recall my
demonstration on the entanglement of object/relationship concepts in one
word. This is abstract synaesthesia based on the concept that our detection
of objects and relationships functions as do our senses. My website abstract
is called "The Sense of Dichotomy"
( )

The 'traditional' emphasis on synaesthesia is based on undifferentation of
sensory data processing, the sharing of networks that then, in most, get
differentiated. Genetic diversity alone would ensure the occasional obvious

My emphasis takes this further in that the process of specialisation in the
form of language/symbols etc ensures that there is 'entanglement' to allow
us to use one term to capture characteristics of both elements of a
dichotomy and this is at the concrete level (sight/sound) as well as the
more abstract level (object/relationship).

The ability of emotion to encode data from different sensory sources,
combined with the ability to transmit that emotion through the use of words
and for someonelse to understand that transmission, to decode it into
feelings, suggests that this form of synaesthesia is common; it is what
gives us diversity in expression, helping us to be creative across the whole
spectrum of sensory processing.

When you combine pre and post synesthesia concepts you get a good model of
sensory data processing based on context sensitivity.



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