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David Eagleman

Artful Thursday “The Kaleidoscopic Brain”

Thursday, Jan 12, 2012
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m.

Law Building
1001 Bissonnet Map & Directions

Presented by David Eagleman, assistant professor, Department of Neuroscience; assistant professor, Menninger Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences; director, Laboratory for Perception and Action; and director, Initiative on Neuroscience and Law, Baylor College of Medicine

Imagine hearing and seeing the world through a kaleidoscope of colors—hearing symphonies as if they were composed of wavy green lines, feeling the flavor of foods in your fingertips, or sensing the letter “J” as a brilliant magenta.

More than 1 in every 100 people experience the world this way, a condition called synesthesia. Among artists, the percentage is even higher. Wassily Kandinsky, a pioneer of abstraction in the early 20th century, once said of his experience of listening to a work by Wagner, “I saw all my colors in my mind; they stood before my eyes. Wild, almost crazy lines were sketched in front of me.”

Recent research into synesthesia is offering surprising insights into the unexplored creative potential of the human brain. Guggenheim Fellow and New York Times–bestselling author David Eagleman outlines the emerging picture of the synesthetic brain, and how synesthesia has impacted the performing, literary, and visual arts.

Artful Thursday is open to the public. Admission is free. A reception follows the program.


Artful Thursday programs receive generous funding from the Rockwell Fund. Promotional support is generously provided by Houston Public Radio—KUHF 88.7 FM & Classical 91.7 FM, Houston Public Radio. Refreshments generously provided by the Buffalo Speedway Starbucks (corner of Buffalo Speedway and Westpark), Carla Everett, manager; and the Rice Village Starbucks, Jenna Ortiz, manager.