Richard E. Cytowic, MD trained in neurology, neuropsychology, and ophthalmology at Duke University, Wake Forest, London’s National Hospital for Nervous Diseases, and George Washington University before founding Capitol Neurology, a private clinic in Washington DC.
Dr. Cytowic is best known for bringing synesthesia back into mainstream science in 1980. It is now recognized as an important issue to how all brains perceive. For many years colleagues refused to accept synesthesia as real and warned that pursuing it would ruin Dr. Cytowic’s career because it was too weird and New Age. They had the typical reaction of orthodoxy to something it can’t understand. Today, researchers in 15 countries are writing Ph.D. theses, books, and scholarly papers on this fascinating trait.
We currently have a top-to-bottom science of synesthesia, from DNA and synapses, to child development, brain imaging, and psychology up to overt behavior that includes art and creativity—all described in the book with David Eagleman, “Wednesday is Indigo Blue: Discovering the Brain of Synesthesia.”
The New Jersey native is the son of a physician and an artist, and has been a scholar at the Hambidge Center, Virginia Center for Creative Arts, and Southampton Writers Conferences. Dr. Cytowic’s work is the subject of numerous documentaries ranging from the BBC and PBS to National Geographic. Over fifty media appearances include Good Morning America, All Things Considered, and Voice of America.