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Wednesday Is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia Hardcover


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: The MIT Press; 1 edition (February 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0262012790
  • ISBN-13: 978-0262012799
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #961,057 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"No one has done more than Richard Cytowic and David Eagleman to bring a careful neuroscientific attention to synesthesia, grounded in decades of research and reports from thousands of patients. Their work has changed the way we think of the human brain, and Wednesday Is Indigo Blue is a unique and indispensable guide for anyone interested in how we perceive the world." --Oliver Sacks

(Oliver Sachs)

"A fascinating survey of the enormous variety and creativity of the synaesthetic mind."--Daniel Tammet, synesthete and author of Born on a Blue Day

(Daniel Tammet)

"A fascinating survey of the enormous variety and creativity of the synesthetic mind." Daniel Tammet , synesthete and author of Born on a Blue Day



"Filled with detailed tables, clarifying illustrations, and instructive chapters, this title, which includes an afterword by Nabokov's son Dmitri (also a synesthete), should be required reading for teachers and anyone who works with children." Library Journal



"This is a clear, clever book that will appeal to synaesthetes in search of explanations, and to all with a passion for neurology's wild territory." Liz Else New Scientist



"Twenty years ago, synesthesia -- the automatic conjoining of two or more senses -- was regarded by scientists (if at all) as a rare curiosity. We now know that perhaps one person in twenty is synesthetic, and so we must regard it as an essential, and fascinating, part of the human experience. Indeed, it may well be the basis and inspiration for much of human imagination and metaphor. No one has done more than Richard Cytowic and David Eagleman to bring a careful neuroscientific attention to synesthesia, grounded in decades of research and reports from thousands of patients. Their work has changed the way we think of the human brain, and Wednesday Is Indigo Blue is a unique and indispensable guide for anyone interested in how we perceive the world." Oliver Sacks

About the Author

Richard E. Cytowic, M.D., founded Capitol Neurology, a private clinic in Washington, D.C., and teaches at George Washington University Medical Center. He is the author of Synesthesia: A Union of the Senses and The Man Who Tasted Shapes, both published by the MIT Press. David M. Eagleman, Ph.D., is a neuroscientist at Baylor College of Medicine, where he directs the Center for Synesthesia Research.


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Customer Reviews

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I can't wait to borrow it back!
P. Stone
The human brain is fascinating... but this book gives us new perceptions on how we understand as individuals.
Chris S. Rogers
I have a personal interest in Synesthesia, and I find it amazing how common it really is.
CSedita

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By M. Seaberg on April 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Dr. Richard Cytowic and David Eagleman serve up a feast for the senses in this wonderful synesthesia book.

Not only is it full of scientific and anecdotal evidence for the condition, it is also highly readable, features eye-popping graphics and rings true for those of us who experience the condition.

With an afterword by Dmitri Nabokov and a rare interview with artist David Hockney (both synesthetes) those who appreciate both the sciences and the arts will find something to love here.

In the spirit of Dr. Oliver Sacks, their empathy and caring for their subjects shines through with great humanity.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Erika Mitchell TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover
This book provides a detailed examination of the science of synesthesia. Cytowic and Eagleman are leading synesthesia researchers. In this book, they present a detailed description of synesthesia, providing a catalog of synesthesia experiences and an overview of current theories of how these experiences come about. Types of synesthesia experiences are enumerated in the first part of the book, with separate chapters devoted to graphemes provoking colors, sounds provoking colors, spatial sequences provoking forms, sensations involving taste, and emotional triggers and synesthetic sensations. The authors also discuss the connection of synesthesia experiences to metaphor and art before delving into the neuropsychology and science behind synesthesia. The book is well documented with endnotes citing numerous published studies and an extensive bibliography.

This book is a very formal description of synethestic phenomena, but still accessible to general readers. I didn't find the first part of the book, in which the various kinds of synthestic experiences are described in detail, particularly engaging, but others, especially those who experience synesthesia themselves may be reassured in finding that synesthesia is indeed a recognized and normal part of the human experience for many people. I found the last part of the book, in which the authors describe the varying theories behind synesthesia quite informative and thought-provoking. The authors argue that "synesthesia is a latent capacity in everyone." They remind us that seeing is a matter of perception in the brain, not a direct reflection of the physical environment.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By P. Hawthorn on May 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Unbelievable! This is a whole new world I never knew existed. The chapter on art and creativity is fascinating in its discussion of synesthetic artists.The section on David Hockey (complete with an interview!) is worth the price alone. The book is loaded with gorgeous color illustrations. I wish I had this ability. I'm still walking around stunned at the scope of Cytowic and Eagleman's work. The writing is beautiful, too, with a strong voice. You'd never guess it was written by two people.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Holly E. Payne on October 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book review was completed as a class assignment at Georgia Tech.

Richard Cytowic and David Eagleman's "Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia" is a great read for anyone interested in learning about synesthesia and synesthetic experiences. The book is well structured, and filled with examples and testimonials from individuals with various forms of synesthesia. In addition to the entertaining and informative stories, the book also covers the current state of research in the field of synesthesia; from protocols used to tease out the differences between the synesthetic and nonsynesthetic brain to theories of how and why some brains develop synesthesia while others do not.

The book begins with an anecdote to convey the view of synesthesia from the inside perspective and open the reader's mind. There is no way of confirming that the reality you experience is the same as your neighbor's reality. In fact, abnormal experiences, such as those experienced by synesthetes, prove to us that this is not the case. Delving into such extraordinary cases can teach us many things about the brain that we would not otherwise uncover. For this reason, the study of synesthesia is valuable, and will continue to expand as we gain a deeper understanding of how we perceive the world in which we live.

The first chapter of the book explains difficulties with establishing an accurate prevalence of synesthesia. Individuals that have synesthesia have always had synesthesia, and generally assume that everyone else perceives the world in the same way, much as nonsynesthetes do. When they discover that is not the case, they often switch extremes, believing that nobody experiences what they experience.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By CSedita on January 1, 2012
Format: Paperback
I read this book, and watched Videos of Dr. Eagleman on this topic. I have a personal interest in Synesthesia, and I find it amazing how common it really is. I often wonder why no one really talks about it. I definitely think that people should take more interest in Neuroscience because it does pertain to who they are...really are.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Danielle on May 9, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an extremely well written book about the science and experience of Synesthesia. It offers a great introduction into the bioanatomical components of the brains of synesthetes. I would recommend it to anyone wanting a more in-depth introduction to the intriguing phenomenon.
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