The Woman Who "Sees" Time

Space time continuum may be the stuff of Star Trek, but it's not mere fiction to Holly Branigan. The Edinburgh University psychologist can actually "see" time:

"I thought everyone thought like I did, says Holly Branigan, also a scientist at Edinburgh University, and someone with time-space synaesthesia.

"I found out when I attended a talk in the department that Julia was giving. She said that some synaesthetes can see time. And I thought, 'Oh my god, that means I've got synaesthesia'."

So what exactly does she see?

"For me it's a bit like a running track," she says.

"The track is organised around the academic year. The short ends are the summer and Christmas holidays - the summer holiday is slightly longer.

"It's as if I'm in the centre and I'm turning around slowly as the year goes by. If I think ahead to the future, my perspective will shift."

BBC News science reporter Victoria Gill has the story: Link


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

I see time this way as well! I thought I was the only one because I have asked others about this and they think I am strange. Fall and spring are thin and summer winter are long. I am standing in the middle and the the corners of my rectangle are rounded. The rectangle does not rotate, I do.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
This subject attracts a lot of attention, and in "New Age" circles is regarded as something akin to aura reading, a sign of spirituality. It ain't. Proof: every synasthete has different associations to different sounds and colors.
It's just neural crosstalk... signals from one sensory channel bleeding thru to another. Fun, and occasionally useful [aids in memory consolidation] but ultimately irrelevant.
I have no visualization whatsoever, much less overlapping ones, but am no further ahead or behind than anybody else.
Synaesthesia does sound like fun tho.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I see time as a racetrack going counter-clockwise. Similar to one of the posts above but my track starts to the left in September and moves to the right until June. My guess is this was my school year. Then it does a short turn into a summer backstretch of July and August and bends back into September. I am standing in front of the track, not in the middle.

Here is something really weird... my numbers have a gender. LOL!
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I agree with the comments here that suggest everyone is just visualizing the calendar. I do the same. Won't bore you with the "shape". But the real question is this: How is professor Holly Branigan's self-report any different? The conclusion that she has synaesthesia was reached by her thinking "Gee wiz!" just like everyone else on this page.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.


Email This Post to a Friend
"The Woman Who "Sees" Time"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.

 

Success! Your email has been sent!

close window
X

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
 
Learn More