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What is synaesthesia?

A mixing of the senses

a neuro psychologicial condition in which a stimulus presented in one sensory modality automatically and consistently induces a concurrent experience in the same or different modality


What is grapheme-colour synaesthesia?

Seeing words or letters automatically and consistently evokes experiences of colour


Where do the colours appear?

Associator - in the minds eye
Projector - experience colour in visual field


What trends have been reporting?

Syneasthesia consistently reported trends in letter-colour associations - both synaethetes and non-synaesthese but associations differ

are they:
expicity learned


Testing the apple hypothesis

Asked different ppts questions:
is A actually for apple?
are apples actually red?
does index word colour match letter colour?

if A, people chose red
if d, people chose brown because of dog
if S, people choose green because of snake

Language exposed to as a child creates associations you have


Cross linguistic influences on colour associations

Root et al tested different influences for the A - red connection in English, Dutch, Japan, Spanish and Korean

found that the first letter of the alphabet is red in all these languages

different languages may have different letter - colour influences


What are meaning associations?

Important even at the letter level
implications for how letters/literacy are represented and acquired


Language: prosody

A word is coloured by a particular letter
First consonant R - rain (purple)
first vowel A - rain (red)
vowels carry prosody - stress, length, intonation


Contrasting stress for vowel colour

cannon CAN-non vs cadet ca-DET - word was coloured like the stressed vowel



Number of colours can measure lexicalisation
one colour for rainbow - stored as whole
two colours - stored as pieces
depends on the frequency


How are words stored in the brain?

If high frequency (rainbow)- look up whole word - one colour

if low frequency (sea horse) - stored as two separate words, two colours


What do synaesthetes perform better on?

At guessing the meaning of words they didn't know
e.g. if given the words big and small in another language, syn are better at identifying which one means big and which one means small - means that sound symbolism and synaesthesia may have similar connections


What is lexical-gestatory synaesthesia?

In tip of the tongue states, you can experience the words taste before they can retrieve the word