Berit Brogaard, professor of philosophy at UMSL, was recently profiled by St. Louis Magazine. (Photo by August Jennewein)

Something that may come as a surprise to St. Louisans is that research into an unusual brain phenomenon called synesthesia is being done right here within the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

And at the forefront of that local effort is Berit Brogaard, professor of philosophy at UMSL. St. Louis Magazine recently published an in-depth profile of her life and work.

Synesthesia is the ability of a person to see what they hear or hear what they see. Brogaard has a personal connection to the rare crisscrossing of sensory experience. As she explained to St. Louis Magazine, she has “fear synesthesia,” which means her brain reads the emotion of fear and produces a picture.  Her fear looks like a murky landscape with mountains made of crumpled paper.

What makes Brogaard a standout is that she’s working in new territory – the overlap between philosophy and neuroscience. She believes her research might shed light on what she sees at synesthesia’s links to both genius and autism.

Visit the St. Louis Magazine website to read the full article, “Pieces of Mind: Dr. Berit Brogaard Researches the Weirdest Aspects of the Human Brain,” by reporter Jeannette Cooperman.

Myra Lopez

Myra Lopez