The information you receive from your senses makes up your world. But that world does not exist. What we perceive to be the absolute truth of the world around us is a complex reconstruction, a virtual reality created by the complex machinations of our minds in tandem with the wiring of our nervous systems. But what happens if that wiring goes awry? What happens if connections falter, or new and unexpected connections are made? Tiny shifts in the microbiology of our nervous systems can cause the world around us to shift and mutate, to become alien and unfamiliar. Professor Guy Leschziner is one of the world’s foremost clinical neurologists, and in his new book The Man Who Tasted Words, he explores the secrets of our senses, and how people with extraordinary sensory disturbances can teach us more about our own sensory experience. In this interview, I speak to Prof. Guy Leschziner about how our senses work, what we need to know about our senses, and how the science of sense is opening questions of philosophy, and about who we are.

Thought Economics

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