Genetic Aesthetic Determinism

NewScientist is asking whether we all inhabit the same sensory universe (“In The Realm Of Your Senses”, 31/1/04). Yes, that old chestnut. There’s interesting new evidence on genetic variations in the senses such as taste and smell. And of course we learn from our senses, so this may have some bearing on the construction of our self.
But, as NewScientist recognises, once you get the data from your senses you have to process it. And then all bets are off. The processing may vary genetically, or the brain may converge on a coherent and normalised view of the world.
I wouldn’t mind having orange-receptive eye cones, though, which are a very uncommon bit of genetics. I think I have trouble with orange. I can see it, but I’m never convinced I’m seeing what everybody else is seeing. I tend to see a reddy yellow or a yellowy red, very rarely an orange. Maybe it’s just a mental block from one of my tutors accusing me of being colour blind one time when I was using deliberately horrible colours. I can see the numbers, anyway…

Posted in Aesthetics