If dogs and some gifted people can smell diseases and illicit drugs, why can’t someone train dogs (or synaesthete people) to detect COVID-19 by scent?

Amazing British synaesthete super-perceiver gets to use her super-power to aid science and medicine!

 

Detection dog – Wikipedia

 

A note of warning – If you are thinking about copying or plagiarizing any of the text, ideas or descriptions in this post or using it in your own work without giving me (C. Wright, author of the blog “Am I a Super-recognizer?”) the proper acknowledgement and citations, then think again. If you do that you will be found out and my objection will be well publicized. If you believe that you published any of these ideas before I did, please let me know the details in a comment on this article. If you want to make reference to this blog post or any of the ideas in it make sure that you state in your work exactly where you first read about these ideas. If you wish to quote any text from this post be sure to cite this post at this blog properly. There are many established citation methods. If you quote or make reference to material in this blog in your work, it would be a common courtesy to let me know about your work (I’m interested!) in a comment on any of the posts in this blog. Thank you.

 

Article about Australian police use of facial recognition AI in The Conversation

Australian police are using the Clearview AI facial recognition system with no accountability.

Jake Goldenfein

The Conversation

March 4, 2020

http://theconversation.com/australian-police-are-using-the-clearview-ai-facial-recognition-system-with-no-accountability-132667

 

SYNAESTHESIA IS NOT A CROSSING OF THE SENSES, BECAUSE CONCURRENTS ARE MEMORIES OR LEARNED ASSOCIATIONS, NOT EXPERIENCES!

I thought I’d share my response to question that I saw posted on the internet “What is it like to have “crossing” of the senses known as synesthesia?

It is nothing like a “crossing of the senses”, because that is not what it is or how it works, regardless of the countless times that clueless non-synaesthete academics have described it that way. I do not see a colour in response to a sound instead of hearing a sound. My senses of smell, taste, vision and the other senses are normal or good for my age. Another way in which synaesthesia is not a crossing of the senses is the countless types of synaesthesia that do not have simple sensory experiences as either inducers or concurrents. Sometimes thinking of a very specific concept will trigger for a very brief time a visual memory of a scene of a place that I visited decades ago, as it looked then. The inducer is purely abstract, not sensory, and the concurrent is a memory of a visual nature. Clearly the concurrent is not a sensory experience because it is not a scene that I saw at that time, md also because the scene was the way the place looked many years ago, not as it looked at that time. This type of synaesthesia, a type that I experience quite often among many other more widely-known types of synaesthesia, is a memory of a visual sensory experience, and is not an actual sensory experience. If I actually thought that my synaesthesia concurrents were real sensory experiences, I’d be fit for a psychiatric institution, because that would be a type of hallucination.

Clearly synaesthesia as a phenomenon that involves memory, or the neural processes that give rise to memory, because numerous studies have found various types of memory superiority associated with various types of synaesthesia, often these links being between memory and synaesthesia centred upon the same areas of mental processing. This is one of the intriguing things that I have noticed about my own synaesthesia, which inspired me to write the very first post in this blog, about The Strange Phenomenon, which is an unusual and not previously described type of synaesthesia in which the inducer is a specific face viewed from a very specific angle and the concurrent is a memory of another person’s (similar) face and entire persona (face, mannerisms, personality, voice). This repeated experience linking synaesthesia with face memory prompted me to do face memory tests, including the short form of the CFMT, and unexpectedly discover my own status as a super-recognizer, a form of memory superiority in face memory.

Synaesthesia is not hallucination and synaesthetes generally understand that concurrents are not real, current sensory experiences. We understand this because we can see set patterns among groups of inducers and concurrents and know what to expect because of the great reliability of these associations between thoughts that belong in set categories. An example would be grapheme colour synaesthesia, in which most of the letters of the alphabet (a category) are individually reliably asspcoated with specific colours (another category). The way this trype of syanesthesia is experienced is more like learning or knowledge than the rapid and fleeting triggering of memories, but Iguess learning and knowledge are based on memory. With some more rarely-experienced types of synaesthesia with concurrents that seem like current sensory experiences (as in my white chocolate-flavoured hugs synaesthesia), I have been able to pick them as synaesthesia concurrents or sensory memories rather than hallucination or normal sensory experiences because the sensations are extremely brief in duration – they flash in and out of the mind in an instant, or hit like a bolt of lightning, leaving you wondering, and if I hadn’t made the effort to keep a record of these associations by writing them down, they would be quickly forgotten and not obvious as instances of synaesthesia due to their ephemeral nature. These sensations or experiences cannot be mistaken as normal sensory experiences. I think anyone who describes their synaesthesia as hard to pick from reality or like a hallucination, or constantly-occurring, is probably lying, or at least confused.

A note of warning – If you are thinking about copying or plagiarizing any of the text, ideas or descriptions in this post or using it in your own work without giving me (C. Wright, author of the blog “Am I a Super-recognizer?”) the proper acknowledgement and citations, then think again. If you do that you will be found out and my objection will be well publicized. If you believe that you published any of these ideas before I did, please let me know the details in a comment on this article. If you want to make reference to this blog post or any of the ideas in it make sure that you state in your work exactly where you first read about these ideas. If you wish to quote any text from this post be sure to cite this post at this blog properly. There are many established citation methods. If you quote or make reference to material in this blog in your work, it would be a common courtesy to let me know about your work (I’m interested!) in a comment on any of the posts in this blog. Thank you.

Recent Wired article about push-back against govt by algorithm, incl facial recognition tech, in Eurpoe and USA

Europe Limits Government by Algorithm. The US, Not So Much.
Tom Simonite
Wired
02.07.2020
https://www.wired.com/story/europe-limits-government-algorithm-us-not-much/

Intriguing finding in study of neglected children suggests another one of my (possibly) novel neurodevelopmental hypotheses

Do some neglected or sound-perception-impaired children teach themselves how to amuse themselves by simply looking at and silently analysing their surroundings, and thus develop an inferior temporal lobe that is more developed than it would otherwise have been within the context of brain-stunting deprivation, and in doing this, do these kids gain an advantage over other neglected kids (who will develop ADHD-type behaviours) in learning how to focus their attention and control their own behaviour?* Could this hypothesis help us to understand the development of conditions and abilities associated with strengths and unusual activity in visual processing, things such as hyperphantasia, autism, superrecognition or forms of synaesthesia that involve visual inducers or concurrents (which is just about all of the recognised forms of synesthesia)?*

Seems a bit controversial that this radio story has linked disorders such as autism and ADHD with childhood neglect, but this also sounds very plausible to me, keeping in mind that some kind of unidentified and unknown perceptual disorder in a child or infant could cut the child off from their environment in a way that would mimic extreme childhood neglect, so evil parents are not necessarily a part of a hypothesis based in this idea. I think this is all there is to “autism” – some perceptual (not sensory) disability stopping normal development in communication abilities that the world’s autism experts have not identified or researched.* “Autism” is such a massive cash-cow for so many people in respected positions, it would really upset the apple-cart if its causal mechanism was identified and a remedy found.

*Don’t forget – don’t plagiarise my ideas.

Romania’s orphans — early neglect, brain size and behaviour
Health Report
ABC Radio National

Guest: Professor Edmund Sonuga-Barke   Professor of Developmental Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience, King’s College London

Host: Dr Norman Swan

Producer: James Bullen

Broadcast: Mon 27 Jan 2020.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/healthreport/neglected-children-have-smaller-brains/11893144

 

Is this synaesthesia?

Is the animated visual depiction of the sensation of being shocked by electricity in the advertisement an example of synaesthesia as a creative feature of advertising? I think it is really quite clever and attention-grabbing and effective.

https://westernpower.com.au/safety/safety-at-home/shocks-and-tingles/

 

Objections to East Perth facial recognition technology

https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2020/02/01/perth-facial-recognition/

This article from The New Daily includes a summary of where in Australia this technology is being used.

An interesting quote:
“People being wrongly identified by cameras remains a big problem in the system. After trialling automated facial recognition in 2016 and 2017, London’s Metropolitan Police reported that more than 98 per cent of matches mistakenly identified innocent members of the public.”

Moments that will shock and stun in the story of the late Orion AKA Jimmy Ellis

I had missed the beginning of this documentary about a singer from the south of the United States who’s claim to fame was a singing voice that was naturally and astonishingly similar, even identical, to the voice of the great Elvis Presley. I was fussing over things in the kitchen and not paying 100% attention until there was one jaw-dropping “Oh wow!” moment that stopped me in my tracks. This was the bit where profile photos of Jimmy Ellis and the father of Elvis Presley, Vernon Presley were shown side-by-side. Jimmy had been an adopted, illegitimate child, with a father only listed on his birth certificate as “Vernon”. This wasn’t the only shocking moment in the documentary. Fame and money aren’t the only motivations in entertainers’ careers. There are also groupies.

Do I believe Ellis was Elvis’s half-brother? 150% I do. I’d believe it based on the incredibly similar singing voices and Ellis’ birth certificate alone, but the facial resemblance – that is amazing. This story is a reminder of how sometimes close relatives can look like twins, while at other times they can look like random strangers. Clearly Elvis got his looks from his mother and his voice from his father, and therefore didn’t look much like Ellis. This documentary is also a reminder of the way that extraordinary talents and creative drives can apparently be inherited, coded in DNA to be sent to one child or another like the random results of a throw of a dice. The pattern of apparently inherited desire to sing, along with an incredible singing voice in this documentary reminds me of the apparently inherited talent and drive in ballet dancing in another fascinating real-life mystery of DNA – the story of Somerton Man recounted in the TV series Australian Story, which I have previously written about in this blog.

I recommend this documentary about a third-rate musical career based on an astounding natural talent that cannot be dismissed, even though in many ways it is a sad story. Maybe this is not a good choice of documentary for any viewers who have not come to terms with a childhood in foster care.

Orion: The Man Who Would Be King

https://iview.abc.net.au/show/orion-the-man-who-would-be-king

The man they thought was Elvis
The strange tale of Jimmy Ellis and one of the greatest hoaxes in music history.
LOUISE BRODTHAGEN JENSEN 13. MAJ 2017

https://www.dr.dk/nyheder/webfeature/orion-eng

No they aren’t the same actress.

I’m not the only person to wonder if the older and younger actors in the latest Trivago ad might be the same actor altered with makeup etc. It appears that the actors are in fact Charlotte Weston and the Australian actor Gabrielle Miller. Was any kind of face-matching technology or expertise used by an actor’s agency to deliberately find an older actor who looks a lot like Ms Miller?

Wikipedia lists performance artist, tap dancer, mime and puppeteer as talents of Ms Miller, on top of her famous work in advertising. I think that is a remarkable committment to annoying the general public.

 

Big news about an early intervention for prosopagnosia in Scientific American

I hope this research turns out to be a genuinely effective help for people who have very poor face memory.

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-promise-for-those-who-suffer-from-face-blindness/