Varieties of grapheme-colour synaesthesia: A new theory of phenomenological and behavioural differences
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Consciousness and Cognition 16 (4):913-931 (2006)
Recent research has suggested that not all grapheme-colour synaesthetes are alike. One suggestion is that they can be divided, phenomenologically, in terms of whether the colours are experienced in external or internal space . Another suggestion is that they can be divided according to whether it is the perceptual or conceptual attributes of a stimulus that is critical . This study compares the behavioural performance of 7 projector and 7 associator synaesthetes. We demonstrate that this distinction does not map on to behavioural traits expected from the higher–lower distinction. We replicate previous research showing that projectors are faster at naming their synaesthetic colours than veridical colours, and that associators show the reverse profile. Synaesthetes who project colours into external space but not on to the surface of the grapheme behave like associators on this task. In a second task, graphemes presented briefly in the periphery are more likely to elicit reports of colour in projectors than associators, but the colours only tend to be accurate when the grapheme itself is also accurately identified. We propose an alternative model of individual differences in grapheme-colour synaesthesia that emphasises the role of different spatial reference frames in synaesthetic perception. In doing so, we attempt to bring the synaesthesia literature closer to current models of non-synaesthetic perception, attention and binding
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Nicolas Rothen, Elias Tsakanikos, Beat Meier & Jamie Ward (2013). Coloured Letters and Numbers (CLaN): A Reliable Factor-Analysis Based Synaesthesia Questionnaire. Consciousness and Cognition 22 (3):1047-1060.
Michiko Asano & Kazuhiko Yokosawa (2011). Synesthetic Colors Are Elicited by Sound Quality in Japanese Synesthetes. Consciousness and Cognition 20 (4):1816-1823.
Michiko Asano & Kazuhiko Yokosawa (2012). Synesthetic Colors for Japanese Late Acquired Graphemes. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (2):983-993.
Christopher Sinke, John H. Halpern, Markus Zedler, Janina Neufeld, Hinderk M. Emrich & Torsten Passie (2012). Genuine and Drug-Induced Synesthesia: A Comparison. Consciousness and Cognition 21 (3):1419-1434.
Romke Rouw, Joram van Driel, Koen Knip & K. Richard Ridderinkhof (2013). Executive Functions in Synesthesia. Consciousness and Cognition 22 (1):184-202.
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