I think not only one of the most interesting, but also relevant, topics we have discussed so far in class is the idea of synthesia. What synthesia means to me is the reception of an external stimulus by a sensory organ being used to perceive a different sense. For example, some people can report being able to "hear" smells. Basically, they can smell something and then in their mind perceive the smell as a noise. Although it sounds impractical for use, this concept is being used to treat people with different kinds of physical disabilities. Take for example the work done by neuroscientist Paul Bach-Y-Rita. He constructed a machine that blind people would sit in, with a camera that recorded objects in front of them. The camera would then send electrical signals to the back of the seat. The seat would have hundreds of vibrating stimulaters that would vibrate in accordance to what the camera was recording. The people's sense of touch was synthesized into their sense of "vision".
And the research is only getting better. Which leads me to some questions. If the research is getting better and better and the technology more advanced, will there ever be a time when blind people can not only see, but see in color? What does the future hold for people who have lost their sense smell, hearing, or taste?