Musical Matchups

Our brains process music via different sensory pathways depending on what we think its source is, a new study finds. As our brains organize information from our senses into a coherent representation of the world around us, they’re constantly hard at work associating data from one sense – say, sight – with data from another – say, hearing. A lot of the time, this process is pretty straightforward – for instance, if we see a man talking and hear a nearby male voice, it’s typically safe for our brains to assume the voice “goes with” the man’s lip movements. But it’s also not too hard for…

Sensory Fluidity

What do you think it’d be like to see a smell? Or to feel an electromagnetic field? In the last few posts, I’ve talked a lot about the differences between the synthesized concept of a self, and the raw subjective experience of being oneself in the present moment. I’ve also explored some of the boundaries and dimensions of selfhood. But this all leaves a question that’s nagged at my mind for years: what exactly is subjective experience? It’s simple enough to say that my perceptions of reality (both external and internal) are represented by coordinated patterns of activity in my nervous system…