Is synaesthesia really stable – or does it gradually consolidate?

Research output: ResearchPoster

Abstract

Synaesthesia is a condition describing a perceptual variation where experience an additional concurrent following an inducer stimulus (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001); some may experience that weekdays or letters have a specific colour, or that a number has a certain size or relate to a particular place in space. Often synaesthesia is linked to a genetic component, and it has been suggested to be the result of either increased cross- wiring or decreased lateral inhibition in certain areas of the brain (Hubbard & Ramachandran, 2005). Previous studies have revealed that synaesthesia can be established through experience during development (e.g. Witthoft & Winawer, 2006). Nevertheless, despite heroic attempts studies still fail to convincingly train non- synaesthetes to develop synaesthesia (see Colizoli, Murre, & Rouw, 2012; Bor, et al., 2014). One of the principle criteria for synaesthesia is that the associations are stable over time. However, here we present the case of AR, a colour-grapheme synaesthete who clearly demonstrate synaesthesia, but also a gradual consolidation over time (Sørensen, Nordfang, & Ásgeirsson, accepted). Also, AR does not demonstrate some of the typical modulations of attention found in synaesthetes (Ásgeirsson, Nordfang, & Sørensen, 2015), suggesting that these modulations may be the result of expertise.
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Synaesthesia is a condition describing a perceptual variation where experience an additional concurrent following an inducer stimulus (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001); some may experience that weekdays or letters have a specific colour, or that a number has a certain size or relate to a particular place in space. Often synaesthesia is linked to a genetic component, and it has been suggested to be the result of either increased cross- wiring or decreased lateral inhibition in certain areas of the brain (Hubbard & Ramachandran, 2005). Previous studies have revealed that synaesthesia can be established through experience during development (e.g. Witthoft & Winawer, 2006). Nevertheless, despite heroic attempts studies still fail to convincingly train non- synaesthetes to develop synaesthesia (see Colizoli, Murre, & Rouw, 2012; Bor, et al., 2014). One of the principle criteria for synaesthesia is that the associations are stable over time. However, here we present the case of AR, a colour-grapheme synaesthete who clearly demonstrate synaesthesia, but also a gradual consolidation over time (Sørensen, Nordfang, & Ásgeirsson, accepted). Also, AR does not demonstrate some of the typical modulations of attention found in synaesthetes (Ásgeirsson, Nordfang, & Sørensen, 2015), suggesting that these modulations may be the result of expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date4 May 2016
StatePublished - 4 May 2016
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedNo
EventNeuroscience Day - Lakeside Lecture Theatres, building 1250-53, Århus University, Århus, Denmark
Duration: 4 May 20164 May 2016
http://neurocampus.au.dk/neuroscience-day/neuroscience-day-2016/

Conference

ConferenceNeuroscience Day
LocationLakeside Lecture Theatres, building 1250-53, Århus University
CountryDenmark
CityÅrhus
Period04/05/201604/05/2016
Internet address

Activities

  • Neuroscience Day

    Activity: Attending an eventConference organisation or participation

ID: 232866400