In this week's Ideas section, Courtney Humphries has a fascinating article about the new field of "cross-sensory perception" -- the study of the way that our five senses connect with and affect one another:
Laboratories throughout the world [are] devoted to understanding how the senses merge. Scientists are developing a new way of thinking about how our brains are organized and how we perceive the world. And what began as basic scientific research to understand the brain’s organization is spreading into other fields, such as marketing: Companies are starting to engineer foods that taste better by appealing to the eyes and ears, for instance. The work may even have implications for medicine — helping to explain, say, how the brain can compensate for a missing sense — and for education.
More in Ideas: "The science of our cross-wired senses."
Kevin Hartnett is a writer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. His last article for Ideas was about choosing Congress by lottery.
Guest blogger Simon Waxman is Managing Editor of Boston Review and has written for WBUR, Alternet, McSweeney's, Jacobin, and others.
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Guest blogger Joshua Glenn is a Boston-based writer, publisher, and freelance semiotician. He was the original Brainiac blogger, and is currently editor of the blog HiLobrow, publisher of a series of Radium Age science fiction novels, and co-author/co-editor of several books, including the story collection "Significant Objects" and the kids' field guide to life "Unbored."
Guest blogger Ruth Graham is a freelance journalist in New Hampshire, and a frequent Ideas contributor. She is a former features editor for the New York Sun, and has written for publications including Slate and the Wall Street Journal.
Joshua Rothman is a graduate student and Teaching Fellow in the Harvard English department, and an Instructor in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. He teaches novels and political writing.