Synaesthesia. A "Golden Thread" through Life?

Alexandra Dittmar
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Subject: The theme of this book is synaesthesia – a different but naturally occurring form of perception in which sensations and perceptions are experienced in many different combined forms. The book first provides an overview of the current state of knowledge relating to synaesthesia, from the diversity of synaesthetic experience to some of the many findings and theories yielded by synaesthesia research – a blossoming area of science – in recent years. After an introduction to the subject of orientation the principal thesis of the book is outlined – that synaesthesia can be a form of orientation. The idea has wide-ranging implications: for example, it is possible that a good many children are being identified as having a " when the real problem is that teaching strategies used in schools run counter to the synaesthesia of a synaesthetically gifted child. There then follow 21 accounts, some of them illustrated, of synaesthetic experience combined with reflection on the question of whether synaesthesia can be used for orientation. The 21 authors come from five countries (USA, Great Britain, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Germany) and almost all of them are synaesthetes.

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Alexandra Dittmar (born 1961) studied cultural anthropology, philosophy and social psychology, obtaining a doctorate in cultural anthropology in 1998. She is particularly interested in the range of human modes of thought and ways of interpreting the world. She is a co-founder of the German Synaesthesia Association (Deutsche Synästhesie-Gesellschaft e.V.).
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