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synaesthesia [2010/04/30 18:26]
mconnell created
synaesthesia [2010/05/16 13:00] (current)
mconnell
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 Synaesthesia,​ from the Greek '​syn',​ meaning '​together',​ and '​aisthesis',​ meaning '​sense',​ is a sensory processing disorder in which the senses are '​crossed'​ - stimulation of one sensory modality leads to simultaneous stimulation of another. For synaesthetes,​ people who suffer from synaesthesia,​ this means that they may experience dual sensations that the rest of us do not; in colour-grapheme synaesthesia,​ perhaps the most common form of the disorder, patients will associate a particular colour with a particular grapheme (a written symbol, such as a letter, number, punctuation mark, or other character). Whenever they see a letter, they also see its corresponding colour. Many other kinds of synaesthesia also exist, including sound-colour synaesthesia,​ in which patients see colours when they hear sounds, and, rarely, lexical-taste synaesthesia,​ in which words register as particular tastes. Synaesthesia,​ from the Greek '​syn',​ meaning '​together',​ and '​aisthesis',​ meaning '​sense',​ is a sensory processing disorder in which the senses are '​crossed'​ - stimulation of one sensory modality leads to simultaneous stimulation of another. For synaesthetes,​ people who suffer from synaesthesia,​ this means that they may experience dual sensations that the rest of us do not; in colour-grapheme synaesthesia,​ perhaps the most common form of the disorder, patients will associate a particular colour with a particular grapheme (a written symbol, such as a letter, number, punctuation mark, or other character). Whenever they see a letter, they also see its corresponding colour. Many other kinds of synaesthesia also exist, including sound-colour synaesthesia,​ in which patients see colours when they hear sounds, and, rarely, lexical-taste synaesthesia,​ in which words register as particular tastes.
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 {{:​synaesthesia-emergency.gif|}} {{:​synaesthesia-emergency.gif|}}
  
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 Another theory regarding synaesthesia involves disinhibited feedback. According to this explanation,​ in the brains of synaesthetes,​ signals from later sensory processing are not inhibited as normal, allowing them to feed back into earlier stages of multi-modal processing, resulting in the mixed signals common to synaesthesia. Another theory regarding synaesthesia involves disinhibited feedback. According to this explanation,​ in the brains of synaesthetes,​ signals from later sensory processing are not inhibited as normal, allowing them to feed back into earlier stages of multi-modal processing, resulting in the mixed signals common to synaesthesia.
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 +Strong evidence for the cross-activation theory of synaesthesia can be found in in a study of synaesthetic experiences in 3- to 4-month-old infants by Walker et al. (2010). Using the preferential looking paradigm (PLP), Walker et al. presented infants with visual displays accompanied with auditory stimuli that were either congruent (e.g., a bouncing orange ball on a black field accompanied by a sliding whistle sound that went up in pitch when the ball went up, and down in pitch when the ball went down; a morphing shape that went from rounded edges to sharp and pointy edges and back while a sound went from low to high pitch and back) or incongruent (e.g., a bouncing orange ball as in the congruent condition, but with the sound going down in pitch when the ball went up and vice versa; the same morphing shape as in the congruent condition, but with the pitch of the auditory stim going down as the shape became more pointed and vice versa). Infants preferred to look at the displays when the audio was congruent with the visual display, presenting what Walker et al. believe to be the strongest evidence to date that '​synaesthetic cross-modality correspondences are an unlearned aspect of perception.'​ (21)
  
 === Issues in the study of synaesthesia === === Issues in the study of synaesthesia ===
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 For a far more thorough discussion of synaesthesia,​ please visit the [[synesthesia|Synesthesia group'​s page]]. For a far more thorough discussion of synaesthesia,​ please visit the [[synesthesia|Synesthesia group'​s page]].
  
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 +Back to [[Multi-Modal Integration]]\\
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