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Science in the City
Synesthesia: The Smell of a Sound, The Taste of a Color (Clip)
Date: September 14, 2011
Running Time: 00:05:30

Monday is spiky. The number nine is orange. The letter F smells like smoke. Roughly one percent of people experience such blending of the senses, known as synesthesia. In this episode we meet Bryan Alvarez, a doctoral candidate at the University of California at Berkeley, who is researching the neural mechanisms of synesthesia in an effort to explain why only some of us experience this cognitive crosstalk.
Urban environments like San Francisco are full of mysterious natural and human-made phenomena. Why are there so many one-footed pigeons? Where does the sewage go? Why is our “summer” in May and September? The Exploratorium is “taking it outside" to explore these and other questions in engineering, ecology, optics, waves, geology, architecture, weather, and more. Look for new episodes once a month.