liz cowell

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liz cowell
Posted over 2 years ago
Can we ever know how another person "senses" the world?
I have always loved this question from a young age, and many years later having studied science (biochem) and much later art and film it drove me to look at this from several perspectives. I was fascinated by the philosophical question "Do you see what I see" and also the cultural connotations of different colours, particulary red - quite fascinating, so global in meaning (is it because blood is red?), and often used as a Motif by filmmakers. I even made a couple of short art films on http://www.youtube.com/user/sparkshorts - RedOrDead and MyFavouriteThings. See what philosophy, science and art can do to our inquisitive minds!? Of course, scientifically the detection of colour is dependent on the sensitity of the three different types of cone receptors in our eyes. If these are different in different people then their range of perception may be different, so one person may effectively be colour blind in comparison to another, or, as in certain kinds of dyslexia, find the contrast between certain colours makes it impossible to discern clear edges so that letters jump around (as most of us find for example for red on green lettering). Sadly with age, we cansee our own perception of colour is slowly draining, as our other faculties, things become less sharp, less intense, sweet roses, fresh lawns, bright beautiful days... But in terms of neural representation of that information internally. Always fascinating. To get inside someone elses brain for just one instance... The other thing which I find fascinating relating to this is the research which has shown that blind people can have the output of small camera's on their foreheads wired to their highly innervated tongues, and then "see" images and reproduce them accurately with a pen on paper as proof of what they see. (In Scientific american published about 2005/6). Surely something very fractal about the way our nervous systems adapt and evolve. But thats another area entirely ....