In Christopher Hill David Bennett (ed.), Sensory Integration and the Unity of Consciousness. MIT Press (2014)

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Jennifer J. Matey
Southern Methodist University
Abstract
This paper develops the case for the representation of high-level properties in visual experience from synesthesia. I draw on a special variety of number– color synesthesia to argue that we can visually experience graphemes (like ‘4’) to have numerical values (or to represent numbers). A small subset of number-color synesthetes seem to have a heightened ability to perform mental arithmetic in virtue of their synesthesia. How can we explain the apparently facilitative effect of synesthesia on mental arithmetic in synesthete savants? I argue that only the view that synesthete savants visually experience graphemes as having numerical values can account for the role that their color photisms play in facilitating their performance of mental arithmetic.
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DOI 10.7551/mitpress/9780262027786.003.0007
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