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A genius can see music as colors

Posted April. 03, 2021 07:58,   

Updated April. 03, 2021 07:58


When Vincent van Gogh took piano lessons in 1885, his teacher thought he was mental after seeing him connecting notes with colors. Wassily Kandinsky also saw lines and colors in his head when listening to music. These two great artists both had synesthesia, a neurological condition, where information meant to simulate one sense stimulates several of our senses.

Synesthesia is related to the brain’s development process. When we are young, human senses, including sight and hearing are linked to one another, but get divided as we get older. But for some, these senses are still connected even after they get older. Some 4.4% of humans experience synesthesia during their brain development. They exercise their creativity by receiving a variety of external stimuli through synesthesia in the brain.

Human creativity is the fruit of constant interaction between the brain and the environment. A revolution of creativity came about 14,000 years ago when humans shifted from a hunting-gathering economy to a farming economy. In a farming economy, people were able to meet and exchange information with more people within a larger society. Now the method of communication has developed dramatically through online interactions.

The author keeps track of the impact of talent, occupation, stress, and crime on the brain, in addition to the anatomical analysis focusing on the interaction between the brain and the environment. Can computers outsmart the human brain in the era of artificial intelligence (AI)? “Every feather of a bird can be imitated, the flight of a bird cannot,” says the author, adding that a machine cannot catch up with the insights that 100 billion brain cells create through various neural processes.

Seong-Taek Jeong neone@donga.com