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Posted on Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Hearing Colors: Using Sound to Create Colors

Neil Harrison uses sound to perceive colors.

Sight and sound are tied together in many ways. Now, Neil Harbisson, an artist who was born color blind has taken that to a new level, creating a technology that allows him to hear the colors he cannot see.

Born with a rare visual condition that prohibits him from seeing any color, Neil Harbisson lives in a colorless world. In 2003 he started experimenting in conjunction with scientist to create an electronic eye that could turn the colors he could not see into sounds he could hear. In other words, he uses sound to perceive the colors in his environment.

Through a chip installed in his head Neil is able to experience the frequency of colors all the time. The sights we see to him become lovely and melodic sounds. The rise and fall of colors are related through bone conduction. In addition to being implanted in the back of his skull, this technology sprouts from his head and hangs in front of his face, surveyed the world of color before him. Purples, pinks, and greens all have different frequencies that play through Neil's mind all the time. Many of us might be disturbed at having sounds playing continually, but Neil has lived with this technology for over ten years. And he sees no reason to turn down the volume. In fact, he has found ways to perceive colors the human eye cannot see.

In addition to hearing colors, Neil has turned his found a way to share his experience with the sound of colors. From music and even popular speeches, he has created artwork. So that he has turned his unique way of experiencing colors into art that others can see and enjoy.

Neil's experience has much to teach us about senses and about how we perceive the world. As he notes, people are not black or white. They are the same color, varying shades of orange. If you'd like to learn more about Neil and his way of experience the sounds of our color filled world, please watch the video below.

Taking care of your ears so that you can hear your world is important not just for those who use their ears to see colors. To find out more about how you can keep your ears healthy read THIS article or visit your hearing health provider. If you need help finding a hearing health provider click HERE to be connected with the largest network of trusted hearing health professionals in the nation!

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