Synesthesia

Edited by Ophelia Deroy (School of Advanced Study, University of London, Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München)
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  1. How do synesthetes experience the world.Malika Auvray & Ophelia Deroy - forthcoming - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press.
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  2. Synesthetic Binding and the Reactivation Model of Memory.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In Ophelia Deroy (ed.), Sensory Blending: On Synaesthesia and Related Phenomena. Oxford University Press.
    Despite the recent surge in research on, and interest in, synesthesia, the mechanism underlying this condition is still unknown. Feedforward mechanisms involving overlapping receptive fields of sensory neurons as well as feedback mechanisms involving a lack of signal disinhibition have been proposed. Here I show that a broad range of studies of developmental synesthesia indicate that the mechanism underlying the phenomenon may involve reinstatement of brain activity in different sensory or cognitive streams in a way that is similar to what (...)
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  3. Color Synesthesia.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In Kimberly A. Jameson (ed.), Cognition & Language, Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology. Springer.
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  4. Varieties of Synesthetic Experience.Berit Brogaard - forthcoming - In Richard Brown (ed.), Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Neuroscience Series, Synthese Library.
    In her response to my "Seeing as a Non-Experiental Mental State: The Case from Synesthesia and Visual Imagery" Ophelia Deroy presents an argument for an interesting new account of synesthesia. On this account, synesthesia can be thought of as "a perceptual state (e.g. of a letter)" that is "changed or enriched by the incorporation of a conscious mental image (e.g. a color)." I reply that while this is a plausible account of some types of synesthesia, some forms cannot be accounted (...)
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  5. Seeing Mathematics: Perception and Brain Activity in a Case of Acquired Synesthesia.Berit Brogaard, Simo Vanni & Juha Silvanto - forthcoming - Neurocase.
    We studied the patient JP who has exceptional abilities to draw complex geometrical images by hand and a form of acquired synesthesia for mathematical formulas and objects, which he perceives as geometrical figures. JP sees all smooth curvatures as discrete lines, similarly regardless of scale. We carried out two preliminary investigations to establish the perceptual nature of synesthetic experience and to investigate the neural basis of this phenomenon. In a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) study, image-inducing formulas produced larger fMRI (...)
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  6. Enhanced Senses but No Voice: Synesthetes as Muted Group (in press) In Collecting Thoughts: Representations of Neurodiversity on Television.Gatzia Dimitria & O'Reilly Julie - forthcoming - In Collecting Thoughts: Representations of Neurodiversity on Television.
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  7. Synesthe Volume.Vincent Hendricks (ed.) - forthcoming
  8. Perceptual variation in object perception: A defence of perceptual pluralism.Berit Brogaard & Thomas Alrik Sørensen - 2023 - In Aleksandra Mroczko-Wąsowicz & Rick Grush (eds.), Sensory individuals: unimodal and multimodal perspectives. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 113–129.
    The basis of perception is the processing and categorization of perceptual stimuli from the environment. Much progress has been made in the science of perceptual categorization. Yet there is still no consensus on how the brain generates sensory individuals, from sensory input and perceptual categories in memory. This chapter argues that perceptual categorization is highly variable across perceivers due to their use of different perceptual strategies for solving perceptual problems they encounter, and that the perceptual system structurally adjusts to the (...)
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  9. What about synesthesia? A phenomenological analysis of a perceptual phenomenon.Lanei Rodemeyer - 2023 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 61 (S1):39-49.
    Synesthesia is occasionally offered as a challenge to Husserl's claims that the sense fields are necessarily distinct. This article demonstrates how synesthesia can be approached through phenomenology. We begin with a review of synesthesia and a brief discussion of how a phenomenological analysis of synesthesia could be productive both for those who experience synesthesia and for phenomenologists. We then shift to analyses of synesthesia through Husserl's notions of association and affectivity, and in light of intersubjective communication. While synesthesia might lead (...)
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  10. Synaesthetic Interactions between Sounds and Colour Afterimages: Revisiting Werner and Zietz’s Approach.Tiziano Agostini, Serena Cattaruzza, Walter Coppola, Marco Prenassi & Giulia Parovel - 2022 - Gestalt Theory 44 (1-2):161-174.
    We ran a pilot experiment to explore, using a new psychophysical method, the hypothesis proposed by Zietz and Werner in the ’30s, that a sound presented simultaneously with an afterimage can change its phenomenal appearance in non-synaesthetes. The method we adopted is able to directly collect and visualise the apparent changes in intensity of the afterimages, by recording observers’ interactions with a physical feedback mechanism, without referring to verbal descriptions. These first findings support some of the most meaningful observations reported (...)
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  11. Synesthesia in Contemporary Music.María Luz Rivera Fernández - 2022 - Human Review. International Humanities Review / Revista Internacional de Humanidades 11 (2):197-204.
    In this work we present the complex relationship between sound and color in musical creation throughout history that continues to be fruitful in current musical composition. Synesthesia in music establishes a correspondence between sound and color and has been a constant debate since the 17th century. The complex nature of sound appears from ancient Greece in the school of Pythagoras in which the number becomes the configurator of harmony. Since then, different aesthetic attempts have arisen to relate color and sound (...)
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  12. Linguistic synesthesia is metaphorical: a lexical-conceptual account.Chu-Ren Huang, Kathleen Ahrens & Qingqing Zhao - 2022 - Cognitive Linguistics 33 (3):553-583.
    This study seeks to clarify the nature of linguistic synesthesia using a lexical-conceptual account. Based on a lexical analysis of Mandarin synesthetic usages, we find that linguistic synesthesia maps the metaphorical meaning between two domains; and linguistic synesthetic mappings and conceptual metaphoric mappings have similar behaviors when sense modalities are treated as conceptual domains that contain a set of mappings constrained by Mapping Principles. This lexical-conceptual account is designed to capture the fact that linguistic synesthesia involves mapping between lexicalized concepts (...)
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  13. Afterimages and the synaesthesia of photography.Kelann Currie-Williams - 2021 - Philosophy of Photography 12 (1):111-127.
    This article takes as its focus the concept of the ‘afterimage’ and its relationship to memory, the synaesthetic experience of perception and the multisensory turn within the study of photographic images. Afterimages have consistently been described as phenomena of visual persistence where, optically, a recorded moment of the past leaks into the present and remains visible before us on our retinas. By recasting this originary understanding of an afterimage as simply a ghostly, optical occurrence and insisting that the phenomenon exceeds (...)
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  14. Synesthesia, Hallucination, and Autism.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2021 - Frontiers in Bioscience 26:797-809.
    Synesthesia literally means a “union of the senses” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together in experience. For example, some synesthetes experience a color when they hear a sound, although many instances of synesthesia also occur entirely within the visual sense. In this paper, I first mainly engage critically with Sollberger’s view that there is reason to think that at least some synesthetic experiences can be viewed as truly (...)
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  15. Linguistic Synesthesia in Turkish: A Corpus-based Study of Crossmodal Directionality.Alper Kumcu - 2021 - Metaphor and Symbol 36 (4):241-255.
    Linguistic synesthesia (or synesthetic/intrafield/crossmodal metaphor) refers to crossmodal instances in which expressions in different sensory modalities are combined as in the case of sweet (taste) melody (hearing). Ullmann was among the first to show that synesthetic transfers seem to follow a potentially universal hierarchy that goes from the so-called “lower” (i.e., touch, taste and smell) to “higher” senses (i.e., hearing and sight). Several studies across languages, cultures, domains and text types seem to support the hierarchy in linguistic synesthesia despite some (...)
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  16. Synesthesia as (multimodal) mental imagery.Bence Nanay - 2021 - Multisensory Research 34:281-296.
    It has been repeatedly suggested that synesthesia is intricately connected with unusual ways of exercising one’s mental imagery, although it is not always entirely clear what the exact connection is. My aim is to show that all forms of synesthesia are forms of (often very different kinds of) mental imagery and, further, if we consider synesthesia to be a form of mental imagery, we get significant explanatory benefits, especially concerning less central cases of synesthesia where the inducer is not sensory (...)
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  17. Multisensory Consciousness and Synesthesia.Berit Brogaard & Elijah Chudnoff - 2020 - In Rocco Gennaro (ed.), Routledge Handbook of Consciousness. Oxford: Routledge. pp. 322-336.
    This chapter distinguishes between two kinds of ordinary multisensory experience that go beyond mere co-consciousness of features (e.g., the experience that results from concurrently hearing a sound in the hallway and seeing the cup on the table). In one case, a sensory experience in one modality creates a perceptual demonstrative to whose referent qualities are attributed in another sensory modality. For example, when you hear someone speak, auditory experience attributes audible qualities to a seen event, a person’s speaking motions. The (...)
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  18. The challenge presented by dissociations and synaesthesia for the neo-dualism of David Chalmers and Tim Bayne.Robert Fletcher - 2020 - Dissertation, University of Reading
    This thesis has, as its primary target, the neo-cartesianism, or property dualism of certain philosophers of mind: David Chalmers, Tim Bayne, and others. All begin with a pre-theoretic commitment to the view that all perceptual states are conscious. They define consciousness by saying that it is synonymous with having ‘qualia’ – a term directed at phenomenal properties which defy reduction to physical states. The thesis argues that this position is challenged by certain neurological conditions, - blindsight, visual form agnosia etc- (...)
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  19. Inanimation: A network of feeling and perception.Matteo Ravasio - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):301-309.
    We often use terms primarily concerned with the description of inanimate objects in order to characterize psychological states or dispositions, without being able to specify the connection between the two uses. I call this inanimation. In this paper, I propose an account of inanimation and of its connection to expressiveness.
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  20. Rhetoric, semiotics, synaesthetics.Peter Goodrich - 2019 - In Emilios A. Christodoulidis, Ruth Dukes & Marco Goldoni (eds.), Research handbook on critical legal theory. Edward Elgar Publishing.
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  21. Inducing synesthesia in non-synesthetes: Short-term visual deprivation facilitates auditory-evoked visual percepts.Anupama Nair & David Brang - 2019 - Consciousness and Cognition 70:70-79.
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  22. Music-colour synaesthesia: Concept, context and qualia.Caroline Curwen - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 61:94-106.
    This review provides a commentary on coloured-hearing arising on hearing music: music-colour synaesthesia. Although traditionally explained by the hyperconnectivity theory (Ramachandran & Hubbard, 2001a) and the disinhibited feedback theory (Grossenbacher & Lovelace, 2001) as a purely perceptual phenomenon, the review of eight coloured-hearing neuroimaging studies shows that it may not be assumed that these explanations are directly translatable to music-colour synaesthesia. The concept of 'ideaesthesia' (Nikolić, 2009) and the role of conceptual and semantic inducers challenge the likelihood of a single (...)
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  23. Absolute pitch is not necessary for pitch class-color synesthesia.Kosuke Itoh & Tsutomu Nakada - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 65:169-181.
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  24. Law in the Time of Oxymora: A Synaesthesia of Language, Logic and Law.Rostam J. Neuwirth - 2018 - Routledge.
    What do different concepts like true lie, bad luck, honest thief, old news, spacetime, glocalisation, symplexity, sustainable development, constant change, soft law, substantive due process, pure law, bureaucratic efficiency and global justice have in common? What connections do they share with innumerable paradoxes, like the ones of happiness, of time, globalisation, sex, and of free will and fate? Law in the Time of Oxymora provides answers to these conundrums by critically comparing the apparent rise in recent years of the use (...)
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  25. The prevalence and cognitive profile of sequence-space synaesthesia.Jamie Ward, Alberta Ipser, Eva Phanvanova, Paris Brown, Iris Bunte & Julia Simner - 2018 - Consciousness and Cognition 61:79-93.
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  26. Sensory Blending: On Synaesthesia and Related Phenomena.Ophelia Deroy (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
    Synaesthesia is a strange sensory blending: synaesthetes report experiences of colours or tastes associated with particular sounds or words. This volume presents new essays by scientists and philosophers exploring what such cases can tell us about the nature of perception and its boundaries with illusion and imagination.
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  27. Multilevel analysis of individual differences in regularities of grapheme–color associations in synesthesia.Daisuke Hamada, Hiroki Yamamoto & Jun Saiki - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 53:122-135.
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  28. Isolating automatic photism generation from strategic photism use in grapheme-colour synaesthesia.Arielle M. Levy, Mike J. Dixon & Sherif Soliman - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 56:165-177.
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  29. Synesthesia vs. crossmodal illusions.Casey O'Callaghan - 2017 - In Ophelia Deroy (ed.), Sensory Blendings: New Essays on Synaesthesia. Oxford, UK: pp. 45-58.
    We can discern two opposing viewpoints regarding synesthesia. According to the first, it is an oddity, an outlier, or a disordered condition. According to the second, synesthesia is pervasive, driving creativity, metaphor, or language itself. Which is it? Ultimately, I favor the first perspective, according to which cross-sensory synesthesia is an outlying condition. But the second perspective is not wholly misguided. My discussion has three lessons. First, synesthesia is just one of a variety of effects in which one sense modality (...)
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  30. The prevalence of synaesthesia depends on early language learning.Marcus R. Watson, Jan Chromý, Lyle Crawford, David M. Eagleman, James T. Enns & Kathleen A. Akins - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 48:212-231.
  31. Synesthesia as a Challenge for Representationalism.Berit Brogaard - 2016 - In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Chichester, UK: Wiley. pp. 306–317.
    Synesthesia is a condition in which features that ordinarily are processed by distinct perceptual or cognitive streams are bound together in a single stream, yielding an aberrant perceptual, image‐like or thought‐like experience. One of the most common forms of synesthesia is grapheme‐color synesthesia. It is divided into two distinct forms: Projector synesthesia, which tends to be perception‐like, and associator synesthesia, which tends to be more like imagery or thought. There has been an ongoing debate in philosophy about whether synesthesia can (...)
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  32. Psilocybin, LSD, Mescaline and drug-induced synesthesia.Dimitria Electra Gatzia & Berit Brogaard - 2016 - In Victor R. Preedy (ed.), Neuropathology of Drug Addictions and Substance Misuse (Vol. 2). Amsterdam: Academic Press-Elsevier (pp. 890-905). Elsevier. pp. 890-905.
    Studies have shown that both serotonin and glutamate receptor systems play a crucial role in the mechanisms underlying drug-induced synesthesia. The specific nature of these mechanisms, however, continues to remain elusive. Here we propose two distinct hypotheses for how synesthesia triggered by hallucinogens in the serotonin-agonist family may occur. One hypothesis is that the drug-induced destabilization of thalamic projections via GABAergic neuronal circuits from sensory areas leads to a disruption of low-level, spontaneous integration of multisensory stimuli. This sort of integration (...)
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  33. H.O.T. Theory, Concepts, and Synesthesia: A Reply to Adams and Shreve.Rocco J. Gennaro - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (4):443-448.
    In response to Fred Adams and Charlotte Shreve’s (2016) paper entitled “What Can Synesthesia Teach Us about Higher Order Theories of Consciousness?”, previously published in Symposion, I argue that H.O.T. theory does have the resources to account for synesthesia and the specific worries that they advance in their paper, such as the relationship between concepts and experience and the ability to handle instances of ‘pop-out’ experiences.
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  34. Individuals with pronounced schizotypal traits are particularly successful in tickling themselves.Anne-Laure Lemaitre, Marion Luyat & Gilles Lafargue - 2016 - Consciousness and Cognition 41:64-71.
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  35. Principle component analyses of questionnaires measuring individual differences in synaesthetic phenomenology.Hazel P. Anderson & Jamie Ward - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:316-324.
  36. A conceptual mediation hypothesis of synaesthesia: What can yellow Tuesdays tell us about how we represent objects?Rich Anina & Chiou Rocco - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  37. How do synaesthetes experience the world?Malika Auvray & Ophelia Deroy - 2015 - In Mohan Matthen (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the Philosophy of Perception. Oxford University Press UK.
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  38. The Long-Term Potentiation Model for Grapheme-Color Binding in Synesthesia.Berit Brogaard, Kristian Marlow & Kevin Rice - 2015 - In David Bennett & Chris Hill (eds.), Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness. MIT Press.
    The phenomenon of synesthesia has undergone an invigoration of research interest and empirical progress over the past decade. Studies investigating the cognitive mechanisms underlying synesthesia have yielded insight into neural processes behind such cognitive operations as attention, memory, spatial phenomenology and inter-modal processes. However, the structural and functional mechanisms underlying synesthesia still remain contentious and hypothetical. The first section of the present paper reviews recent research on grapheme-color synesthesia, one of the most common forms of synesthesia, and addresses the ongoing (...)
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  39. Validating a standardised test battery for synesthesia: Does the Synesthesia Battery reliably detect synesthesia?D. A. Carmichael, M. P. Down, R. C. Shillcock, D. M. Eagleman & J. Simner - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:375-385.
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  40. Task-discriminative space-by-time factorization of muscle activity.Ioannis Delis, Stefano Panzeri, Thierry Pozzo & Bastien Berret - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  41. Investigating the Influence of Cross-modal Temporal Correspondence on EEG Entrainment: A Comparison between Children and Adults.Timora Justin, Hampton Rhiannon, Lane Alison, Dennis Simon & Budd Timothy - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  42. What can synaesthesia teach us about sound symbolism?Bankieris Kaitlyn & Simner Julia - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  43. Red, green, blue equals 1, 2, 3: Investigating the bidirectionality of digit-colour synaesthesia.Teichmann Lina, Nieuwenstein Mark & Rich Anina - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  44. Developing synaesthesia: a primer.Beat Meier & Nicolas Rothen - 2015 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 9.
  45. Cross-modal, bidirectional priming in grapheme-color synesthesia.Chris L. E. Paffen, Maarten J. Van der Smagt & Tanja C. W. Nijboer - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 33:325-333.
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  46. Beyond visual imagery: How modality-specific is enhanced mental imagery in synesthesia?Mary Jane Spiller, Clare N. Jonas, Julia Simner & Ashok Jansari - 2015 - Consciousness and Cognition 31:73-85.
  47. Can grapheme-color synesthesia be induced by hypnosis?Hazel P. Anderson, Anil K. Seth, Zoltan Dienes & Jamie Ward - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
  48. An extended case study on the phenomenology of sequence-space synesthesia.Cassandra Gould, Tom Froese, Adam B. Barrett, Jamie Ward & Anil K. Seth - 2014 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 8.
  49. Synaesthesia in Chinese characters: The role of radical function and position.Wan-Yu Hung, Julia Simner, Richard Shillcock & David M. Eagleman - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 24:38-48.
    Grapheme-colour synaesthetes experience unusual colour percepts when they encounter letters and/or digits. Studies of English-speaking grapheme-colour synaesthetes have shown that synaesthetic colours are sometimes triggered by rule-based linguistic mechanisms . In contrast, little is known about synaesthesia in logographic languages such as Chinese. The current study shows the mechanisms by which synaesthetic speakers of Chinese colour their language. One hypothesis is that Chinese characters might be coloured by their constituent morphological units, known as radicals, and we tested this by eliciting (...)
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  50. Acceptably aware during general anaesthesia: ‘Dysanaesthesia’ – The uncoupling of perception from sensory inputs.Jaideep J. Pandit - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 27:194-212.
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