Perceptions of Aura Caused by Emotional Synesthesia

The phenomenon makes healers believe that they can see auras

By on May 7th, 2012 11:09 GMT

According to the conclusions of a new scientific investigation, it would now appear that people who exhibit a neuropsychological phenomenon called synesthesia are more likely to be among those claiming to see auras around other people.

Researchers at the University of Granada Department of Experimental Psychology, led by experts Óscar Iborra, Luis Pastor and Emilio Gómez Milán, say that people who exhibit a special form of synesthesia, called emotional synesthesia, are more likely to see auras than their peers.

Spanish scientists believe that this neuropsychological phenomenon may represent the scientific explanation for why some healers claim to see auras around their patients' bodies, ScienceDaily reports.

Synesthesia occurs in people whose brains exhibit massive numbers of neurons connecting regions in charge of coding for each of the five senses. Tastes can be heard, colors smelled, and so on.

Details of the new investigation were published in the latest issue of the esteemed journal Consciousness and Cognition. The paper represents the first time a study provides a scientific interpretation of this esoteric phenomenon.

Most people cannot see auras, which are alleged energy fields surrounding the human body, which radiate brightly, and can be seen by certain people. Synesthesia could definitely explain why those healers are convinced they are actually seeing something.

The extra neural connections cause synesthets “to automatically establish associations between brain areas that are not normally interconnected,” explains Gómez Milán, a professor at the university.

The team admits that not all healers they investigated – who claimed to be able to see auras – were synesthets, but say that the incidence of this phenomenon was very high in this population subgroup.

Many people whose brains are wired differently exhibit strong neural connections between areas coding for face recognition and those associated with color processing. They are also very empathic, and can experience touch and pain just like the people they are seeing in front of them.

“These capacities make synesthetes have the ability to make people feel understood, and provide them with special emotion and pain reading skills,” the University of Granada investigators go on to say.

A number of healers were found to “have abilities and attitudes that make them believe in their ability to heal other people, but it is actually a case of self-deception, as synesthesia is not an extrasensory power, but a subjective and 'adorned' perception of reality,” the team concludes.

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