Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another one for my famous synaesthetes list!

Many thanks to the interesting individual who comments at my blog under the name "The Author". His Blogger profile is not publicly available, so perhaps it would not be appropriate to divulge who he is and which blog he writes. It could well be one that I link to. Anyhow, many thanks for letting me know that the famous writer Virginia Woolf has been identified as a synaesthete. The well-known synesthesia researcher Dr Richard Cytowic has written an article published yesterday at Seed magazine about Woolf in which he identified Woolf as bipolar, a synaesthete and also having had other interesting characteristics of the functioning of the mind. I still haven't read the entire article.

I hope this snippet of information wont give my readers the false impression that synaesthesia is linked to mental illness. Synaesthesia is actually a quite common trait, one type, number form synaesthesia, being more common than lefthandedness, so we would expect that there would be some people who have both a mental illness and synaesthesia, due to chance coincidence, just as we'd expect to find plenty of lefthanders with a mental illness, as both traits are relatively common.

Cytowic, Richard E. (2012) Virginia Woolf’s mental illness may have ultimately defined her craft.... Seed. SEEDMAGAZINE.COM February 12, 2012.
["Originally published February 2, 2010" "This essay is based on research and an article available at Cytowic’s site"]

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