FROM THE SOCIETY OF NEUROSCIENCE
NEW ORLEANS, Nov. 10, 2003 - Until fairly recently, scientists believed that the information gathered by each of the senses — touch, sight, hearing, smell and taste — was processed in separate areas of the brain. Research is now revealing, however, that there is a complex interaction between the senses in the brain—an interaction that enables us to understand the world in a unified way.
“Since we perceive the world as a whole and not split up into different sensory modalities, it’s important to study how signals from the senses affect each other in the brain,” says Colin Blakemore, PhD, of Oxford University.
New research on how the senses interact is revealing some fascinating findings: What we see affects how we perceive odors. Blind people do have a superior sense of touch. And the odd mixing-of-the-senses condition known as synesthesia, in which people claim to “see” sounds or “hear” colors, is a very genuine phenomenon....