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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Synesthesia and Creativity

Synesthesia is a phenomenon of great interest to neuroscientists and artists because it may be the key to understanding creativity, as suggested by eminent neuroscientist V.S. Ramachandran. Synesthesia is a blending of the senses--for example, seeing a certain letter or number or sound as a specific color (the most common form of synesthesia). Other types include colors associated with days of the week (such as in the title of the podcast by Richard E. Cytowic, "Wednesday is Indigo Blue") or even tastes associated with chord types. For example, in the case of E.S., a minor seventh chord tasted bitter, a major third tasted sweet, and a major sixth tasted like cream! Want to experience some synesthesia yourself? Check out

This excerpt from The Accidental Mind by David J. Linden provides some interesting statistics on synesthesia:
Synesthetes have normal-to-above-normal intelligence and they appear typical in personality tests and general neurological exams. They do not hallucinate or show an unusual incidence of mental illness. Determining the number of synesthetes in the general population is difficult, but recent estimates have been as high as 1 in 200 people. Synesthesia is much more common in women and left-handed people. Although it is hard to exclude sampling bias, it appears, not surprisingly, that synesthetes tend to be drawn to the creative professions, such as writing, visual art, music, and architecture (p. 90).
Although Linden writes that synesthesia occurs in 1 out of 200 people, Cytowic states in his podcast "Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia" that at least some degree of synesthesia is actually quite common, occurring 1 out of 20 people! Determining the number of synesthetes is difficult because synesthetes are often embarrassed to share their abnormal ability, or they simply don't realize that what they experience is unique, and may exclaim in astonishment something along the lines of, "You mean the key of G isn't blue to you?!"

A hypothesis to explain synesthesia rests on prenatal pruning. When we are born, our brain is completely connected and the senses are wired together. Yet as we develop, certain connections are eliminated while others are retained. The hypothesis is that when connections are retained that normally shouldn't be (for example, from visual areas to auditory areas), the result is synesthesia. So perhaps we were all synesthetes once! Ramachandran proposes that we still are all slightly synesthetic, with his example of "kiki" and "buba" in his TED talk: VS Ramachandran on your mind.

Now to the good stuff: how does this have to do with creativity? Well, if you think about it, creative thinking involves putting together two seemingly unrelated concepts, such as in the use of metaphor. Alan Rothenberg, prominent researcher of creative processes, argues that janusian thinking, "bringing two opposites together in your mind, holding them there together at the same time, considering their relationships, similarities, pros and cons, and interplay, then creating something new and useful" is a crucial part of the creative process. If this be the case, then wouldn't abnormal connections in the brain that link together "unrelated" areas enhance creativity? More research on synesthesia and creativity to come!

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  1. There is a book called "A Mango Shaped Space". The main character has the exact same thing as you discribed in the 1st paragraph of this article. When she hears something she sees a color.

  2. Dear Collegues the project on the theme Quantum Creativity has the focus on Neuronal synapses thet are functional nodes in neural circuits. Their organization and activity define an individual’s level of creativity intelligence, emotional state and mental health.

    Changes in the structure and efficacy of synapses are the biological basis of learning and memory.

    Therefore , investigation of the nano dimension architecture of synapses permits to undertand a more efficient model of synaptic in relation to the implementation individual and social creativity .

    So that we invite you to be partners of the Quantum Creativity Project Idea. I hope in you kind reply Paolo Manzelli

    02th SEPT 2014 Firenze

    From: Paolo Manz

    Date: 2014-08-27 7:05 GMT+02:00
    To:, Gino Nicolais

    EGOCREANET will PRESENT IN FLORENCE to ITC Proposer day in October 9 and 10, 2014, a FET PROPOSAL - dead -19-04 2015, 'the H2020-ITC-2015 Topic Creative Industry, Social Media and Convergence . see :

    Currently EGOCREANET is promoting the 'idea of a quantum extension of the brain functioning to provide a model of " quantum cognitivism " able to open the scientific and artistic creativity to innovative experimentation in AUGMENTED REALITY, indeed more aware of the potential intuitive brain that are expressed by imagination in scientific and in artistic fantasy.
    One area where we have to improve research and consequently the development of communication technology in AR, will be 'to give greater attention to the communication structures of synapses whose peculiarities of simultaneous communication between different brain areas may be interpreted it in the manner derived from 'quantum entanglement, creating a unifying activity holistic development of conscious mental activity.


    For the FET project we will make sure to express it in a form of writing and evaluation required by the call. That will be what we will do from next September.

    Best wishes and thank you for your support and commitment to this project initiative.

    Write to: Paolo Manzelli in Florence ;

    see :

    In addition we are interested to participate as partner to the following FET - Calls :

  3. Paolo Manzelli QBT: Nano-synaptic - communication & creativity

    The traditional model of communication synapse is too slow, and localized and non-interactive to still be useful in interpreting the intuition and creativity;

    On September 4, 2014 14:13, Paul Manz wrote:

    At the base of the project Quantum Creativity is the idea of proposing a model QBT (Quantum Brain Theory) in the synapses of the brain activity as it is necessary to explain the simultaneous communication in a synergistic way , since that it is the property of creative thinking. This idea may be developed through the extension of quantum science to the functioning of the brain and in particular through the introduction of entanglement as a possible solution to improve understanding of the plasticity of the brain, which is the basis of creativity '.

    In fact, currently the functionality of neurotransmitter released in the synaptic cleft it is only interpreted so as to implement a temporary bond with postsynaptic receptors. The change of potential caused by the displacement of ions CA ++, allows the transfer of an information signal. Subsequently to allow a new variation of the local synaptic potential and transfer of a pulse of information it becomes a need to renewed electro-ion potential change so as to allow a subsequent transfer of one way information, between two neurons Therefore it becomes necessary that the temporary bond of the neurotransmitter should be broken and the neurotransmitters in the synaptic cleft necessarily have to be degraded by enzymes or resorbed, in order that the electron-ion potential can notbe stabilized, because 'what this block any other possible variation of the of information pulses.

    The traditional model of the activity of synaptic neurotransmission, here shortly summaryzed , it is well known, and it is largely theoretical, since the size of the nano-synaptic gaps, does not allow a precise visibility' of its dynamics. In addition this traditional model of the communication by means of chemical synapses has the serious limitation of being very slow in relation to the activity of thought. In essence this traditional model which is based on a local and unidiretional paths, it is not interactive, consequently does not allow to conceive the synergistic actions delocalized over vast areas of the brain which act simultaneously and synergistically, as would be desirable to obtain a better understanding of creativity of thought.

    Till today the traditional neuro-science still seems to refer to such a simple but rather complicated model of an unidirectional& mechanical explanation of the activity of neurotransmitters in the chemical synapses. Such an explanation therefore leads to misinterpretation on the way of evoluttion of functioning of the brain, as they are based on a communication system that passively reconstructs information from uni-directionally to 'environment. The above leads to conceive cognitive extrapolations very questionable such as the objectivity of perception, which ultimately tends to allow the genesis of false ideas about the thought and his creative development.

    An innovative model QBT "based on quantum science" by introducing the concept of quantum entanglement in 'communication activities of nano-synapses, will give an added value to the understanding of various puzzles (such as optical illusions, the visual perception during the dream. ..ecc ...) which to date are not easily interpretable by following the simplistic classical model but for the project quantum creativity would be more important to understand as fundamentals fof quantum cognition : intuition, creativity and holistic consciousness.

  4. "NO CULTURAL CHANGE NO FUTURE" is an action taken by EGOCREANET and collaborators since December 2012 in Florence.
    In fact, we believe that the contemporary crisis should be answered in the comparison between the change in the economic structure and the cultural superstructure of politics and ideology dominant in 'together. For both, the complex structural and superstructural are the cause of the actual recession contemporary era.
    The promotion activities of the future of the knowledge society is today continued by EGOCREANET, giving rise to a series of project initiatives aimed at developing an active convergence between science and contemporary art.
    The activities promoted by EGOCREANET are therefore developed with the 'objective is to facilitate the coordination and support actions on the convergence of Research & Innovation and Social Media in Europe, in order to give a greater awareness of the latest technological developments and research results between stakeholders (partners ans stakeholders) together with a more detailed knowledge of the current policy and future HORIZON 2020.

    The theme of "NO CULTURAL CHANGE NO FUTURE" will therefore be addressed through the following action:
    Participation in the program ICT-C section 19-2015; Coordination and Support), see in: ,
    a) The Programme FET ICT19 - 2015 will be geared to supporting the development of strategic socially useful activities to facilitate the dissemination of research and international policies proposed in the 'sphere of CREATIVE EUROPE, in order to foster an awareness of the latest technological developments and the results of scientific research among stakeholders, both political and cultural issues in the framework of the Horizon 2020 initiative.
    This objective will be made by the convergence project between art and science called "Quantum Creativity". see the recent preliminary discussion on:
    "Quantum Creativity" developed as an international on-line dialog, will be organized as an incubator for new and emerging ideas and thus will be oriented to promote a broader cognitive extension of the applications of quantum science areas related to multi-disciplinary, "Quantum Brain, Perception and Quantum Quantum Society ", which together lead to explicit convergence in the cognitive and cultural innovation that is implied in these specific environments research.
    b) Organization of programs to support R & D projects of the previous FET FP7, through a platform for the dissemination of results through the organization of scientific events and / or strategic attuatre a broad social involvement, (trans-disciplinary and multi-actor) in the development of European policies in the areas of social Media Convergence and making special reference to the connection between social innovation / cultural and technological Augmented Reality.
    --- >> "Search for Partners":
    The search for a valid partnership multi-disciplinary and multi-actor will end in 'context of' event-F2F Brockerage of 9.10 in October 2014 in Florence in the propostoada EGOCREANET.
    See at: http: //;
    Those who are interested in participating in this event will be sent an email asking for more information to:
    Paul Manzelli phone: +39/3356760004

  5. The quantum Brain Theory (QBT) in the program on "Quantum Creativity" is an hypothesis based on quantum entanglement , of electron or ion-charged superposition into the nano-dimension of synaptic clefts , that may play an important role in the brain's holistic communication and thinking function. Differently to the previous approaches on the tentative quantum explanation of the consciousness, the QBT could form the basis of an interpretation of thinking brain process, starting from the quantum Entangled biological interactions between energy and matter . So that the QBT It is not a simple collection of distinct ideas on the relationship between quantum biology and neurology, this because QBT tray to find the way to interpret our normal experience to think, in order to enhance a cognitive innovation strategy that avoid the arbitrary conceptual constrains ( as the separation between subject and object of perception ) of the obsolete tradition of machanical and/or quantum-mechanical science.
    In conclusion QBT aim to develop a quantum creativity challenge , intrinsically capable of explaining the creative and holistic aspects of the thinking process in humans and in living systems. Paolo Manzelli ;

    paolo manzelli

  7. «Quantum Brain Theory»
    Il cambiamento quantistico dei «modelli predittivi» della percezione cerebrale influenza l’attività «creatrice» e costruttiva del cervello che amplia le possibilita’ di sviluppo delle conoscenze correlate alle necessita’ contemporanea di un cambiamento responsabile. 

    Le informazioni rilevate dall' ambiente vengono a correlarsi con nuovi modelli di pensiero capaci di analizzare e valutare con maggiore accuratezza gli «scenari di previsione» e quindi di creare modelli sempre più appropriati di come stanno effettivamente le cose nella realta'.

    Modelli predittivi mentali piu’ avanzati possono pertanto costruire rinnovate strutture sinaptiche che ampliano le possibili interpretazioni creative di quanto facciamo esperienza e quindi permettono di trovare nuove soluzioni per superare situazioni di crisi.

    Vedi :;; EGOCEANET2012@GMAIL.COM