Announcing Our Moscow Keynote Speaker: Dr. Richard Cytowic

The IASAS, in partnership with our collaborating organizations, is delighted to announce that Dr. Richard Cytowic will present as the Keynote Speaker for Synaesthesia: Cross-sensory Aspects of Cognition across Science and Art. This symposium and its parallel series of arts events will be held in Moscow, Russia, October 17th through 20th 2019.

Richard E. Cytowic, MD, MFA is best known for returning synesthesia back to mainstream science after decades of disbelief. When he rediscovered it in 1979 his neurology colleagues dismissed the trait as bogus, warning that it was “too weird, too New Age” and would “ruin” his career — a typical reaction of orthodoxy to whatever it cannot or does not wish to understand.

Today, synesthesia is recognized as fundamental to understanding the human mind and the human condition. How do we understand people who are not like us? How do non–synesthetes understand cross–sensory metaphors like “loud color” or “sweet person?” These are just some of the questions this captivating perceptual trait raises.

Dr. Cytowic speaks to cultural institutions and performance venues worldwide. Past invitations include the Library of Congress’s “Music and the Brain” symposium, NASA, IBM’s brain-inspired computing, the Smithsonian Institution, the Istanbul Biennale, and the Hirshhorn museum. Three BBC documentaries chronicle his pioneering work.

He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from American University and is an alumnus of Duke, Wake Forest, and George Washington Universities, along with London’s National Hospital for Nervous Diseases. He is currently Clinical Professor of Neurology at George Washington University.

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