Synaesthesia, metaphor and consciousness: A cognitive-developmental perspective

Journal of Consciousness Studies 12 (12):26-45 (2005)
A cognitive-developmental theory of synaesthesias - those subjective states fusing separate perceptual modalities - is supported by research indicating their neocortical basis and first appearance as part of the semantic learning of words, letters, numbers, and time in the early grade school years. It contrasts with models of a primitive, anomalous holdover from an earlier neural hyperconnectivity, widely assumed in recent neuroscience approaches. Classical synaesthesias, occurring most vividly in high 'fantasy proneness' children, as well as the more normative and less stereotyped 'synaesthetic meanings' of mid childhood, would later be internalized as the imagistic side of Vygotsky's 'inner speech' - then introspectable as the typically diffuse felt sense of semantic significance. A synaesthetically structured felt meaning becomes the matrix for the development of metaphoric understanding in later childhood. The further exteriorized development of the full range of synaesthesias in adults high in imaginative absorption and creativity becomes central to the arts, culture, and meditative states of consciousness. This approach overlaps with that of Ramachandran on synaesthesia as a window to the evolution of language and metaphor, but separates the human capacity for cross- modal translation, as the root of all symbol formation, from the full range of synaesthesias that would be its later mid childhood differentiation and adds in the wider adult potential for higher developments of this normally implicit synaesthetic consciousness
Keywords *Cognitive Development  *Consciousness States  *Metaphor  *Synesthesia
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,209
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
John Barresi (2007). Consciousness and Intentionality. Journal of Consciousness Studies 14 (1-2):77-93.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

105 ( #42,451 of 1,940,985 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #272,533 of 1,940,985 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.