Neil Harbisson was born colorblind. He manages to overcome this “impairment” through an antenna implanted in his skull that allows him to “hear colors” (via bone conduction).
Neil says that this has changed the way he perceives.
He describes the process in an interesting way: he had to start by memorizing the names given to each color and the corresponding note, “after some time all this information became a perception, I did not have to think about the notes, and after some time this perception became a feeling“.
“When I started to dream in colors is when I do feel that the software and my brain were united. In my dreams it was my brain creating electronic sounds, it was not the software.” This is “when i started to feel like a cyborg“.
Felling like a cyborg, what does this mean exactly?
A cyborg dreaming sounds. I wonder if he usually experienced sounds in his dreams before becoming a cyborg.
“I start having a secondary effect: normal sounds started to become color. Listening to Mozart became a yellow experience“.
He is suggesting that Mozart its rather ‘monochromatic’. 🙂
And he ends the talk saying:
“Knowledge comes from our senses, so if we extend our senses we will consequently extend our knowledge.”
Featured image: Coupe de l’encéphale sur le plan médian
Author: N. H. Jacob Date: 1834 ca. Description: Coupe de l’encéphale sur le plan médian. Le crâne a été scié verticalement dans toutes sa hauteure sur le plan median, de manière à montrer la face interne de l’émisphère cérébral droit dans toute son étendue. Dessiné d’après nature par N. H. Jacob. Technique: Lithographic drawing Source: Traité complet de l’anatomie de l’homme comprenant la médecine opératoire / par le Dr Bourgery ; avec planches lithographiées d’après nature par N.H. Jacob. – Paris : C.A. Delaunay, 1834. – 8 Vol. : il. ; 45 cm. – I-V. Anatomie descriptive ou physiologique ; VI-VII. Iconographie d’anatomie chirurgicale et de médecine opératoire ; VIII. Embryogénie, anatomie philosophique et anatomie microscopique. Faculty of Medicine’s Library (IA/RES 354 C, Table 27). Image and caption provided by: Silvia Di Marco and Pedro Bidarra Silva, FCUL