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Zixin Yong, Po-Jang Hsieh, Dan Milea
Acquired auditory-visual synesthesia (AVS) is a rare neurological sign, in which specific auditory stimulation triggers visual experience. In this study, we used event-related fMRI to explore the brain regions correlated with acquired monocular sound-induced phosphenes, which occurred 2 months after unilateral visual loss due to an ischemic optic neuropathy. During the fMRI session, 1-s pure tones at various pitches were presented to the patient, who was asked to report occurrence of sound-induced phosphenes by pressing one of the two buttons (yes/no)...
October 19, 2016: Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale
J Stone, M Vermeulen
Functional (psychogenic) sensory symptoms are those in which the patient genuinely experiences alteration or absence of normal sensation in the absence of neurologic disease. The hallmark of functional sensory symptoms is the presence of internal inconsistency revealing a pattern of symptoms governed by abnormally focused attention. In this chapter we review the history of this area, different clinical presentations, diagnosis (including sensitivity of diagnostic tests), treatment, experimental studies, and prognosis...
2017: Handbook of Clinical Neurology
Kaitlyn R Bankieris, Richard N Aslin
Most current theories regarding the development of synesthesia focus on cross-modal neural connections and genetic underpinnings, but recent evidence has revitalized the potential role of associative learning. In the present study, we compared synesthetes' and controls' ability to explicitly learn shape-color pairings. Using a continuous measure of accuracy and multiple testing blocks, we found that synesthetes learned these pairings faster than controls. In a delayed retest, synesthetes outperformed controls, demonstrating enhanced long-term memory for shape-color associations...
September 2016: I-Perception
Kaitlyn R Bankieris, Richard N Aslin
Although cross-modal neural connections and genetic underpinnings are prominent in most current theories regarding the development of synesthesia, the potential role of associative learning in the formation of synesthetic associations has recently been revitalized. In this study, we investigated implicit associative learning in synesthetes and nonsynesthetes by recording reaction times to a target whose color was probabilistically correlated with its shape. A continuous measure of target detection at multiple time points during learning revealed that synesthetes and nonsynesthetes learn associations differently...
September 9, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Simon Lacey, Margaret Martinez, Kelly McCormick, K Sathian
Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which an experience in one domain is accompanied by an involuntary secondary experience in another, unrelated domain; in classical synesthesia, these associations are arbitrary and idiosyncratic. Cross-modal correspondences refer to universal associations between seemingly unrelated sensory features, e.g., auditory pitch and visual size. Some argue that these phenomena form a continuum, with classical synesthesia being an exaggeration of universal cross-modal correspondences, whereas others contend that the two are quite different, since cross-modal correspondences are non-arbitrary, non-idiosyncratic, and do not involve secondary experiences...
August 26, 2016: European Journal of Neuroscience
Gaby Pfeifer, Jamie Ward, Dennis Chan, Natasha Sigala
The representational account of memory envisages perception and memory to be on a continuum rather than in discretely divided brain systems [Bussey, T. J., & Saksida, L. M. Memory, perception, and the ventral visual-perirhinal-hippocampal stream: Thinking outside of the boxes. Hippocampus, 17, 898-908, 2007]. We tested this account using a novel between-group design with young grapheme-color synesthetes, older adults, and young controls. We investigated how the disparate sensory-perceptual abilities between these groups translated into associative memory performance for visual stimuli that do not induce synesthesia...
July 26, 2016: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Matthew H Roberts, Joel I Shenker
Patient NS is a 28year-old female who went blind in her early twenties as a result of S-cone syndrome, a degenerative retinal disorder. A few years after losing her vision, she started experiencing visual perceptions of her hands as she moved them and objects that came into contact with her hands. Over the course of a year, these cross-modal sensations evolved to become veridical visual experiences accurately representative of her hands, objects she touched, and to some degree, objects she could infer from her immediate surroundings...
August 2016: Brain and Cognition
Joanna Atkinson, Tanya Lyons, David Eagleman, Bencie Woll, Jamie Ward
Many synesthetes experience colors when viewing letters or digits. We document, for the first time, an analogous phenomenon among users of signed languages who showed color synesthesia for fingerspelled letters and signed numerals. Four synesthetes experienced colors when they viewed manual letters and numerals (in two cases, colors were subjectively projected on to the hands). There was a correspondence between the colors experienced for written graphemes and their manual counterparts, suggesting that the development of these two types of synesthesia is interdependent despite the fact that these systems are superficially distinct and rely on different perceptual recognition mechanisms in the brain...
August 2016: Neurocase
Michele Miozzo, Bruno Laeng
It has long been observed that certain words induce multiple synesthetic colors, a phenomenon that has remained largely unexplored. We report here on the distinct synesthetic colors two synesthetes experienced with closed sets of concepts (digits, weekdays, months). For example, Saturday was associated with green, like other word starting with s; however, Saturday also had its specific color (red). Auditory priming and Visual Color Stroop tasks were used to understand the cognitive mechanisms supporting the distinct synesthetic colors...
June 15, 2016: Cognitive Processing
Omer Linkovski, Naama Katzin, Moti Salti
Since mirror neurons were introduced to the neuroscientific community more than 20 years ago, they have become an elegant and intuitive account for different cognitive mechanisms (e.g., empathy, goal understanding) and conditions (e.g., autism spectrum disorders). Recently, mirror neurons were suggested to be the mechanism underlying a specific type of synesthesia. Mirror-touch synesthesia is a phenomenon in which individuals experience somatosensory sensations when seeing someone else being touched. Appealing as it is, careful delineation is required when applying this mechanism...
May 30, 2016: Neuroscientist: a Review Journal Bringing Neurobiology, Neurology and Psychiatry
Brady Berman, Mark Serper
Synesthetic-pseudosynesthetic characteristics have been hypothesized to be a schizophrenia endophenotype, a developmental feature, and/or a symptom of psychosis. Few studies to date, however, have examined whether individuals at risk for psychosis have synesthetic symptoms. We examined the relationship between hue and pitch in high psychosis prone (HP; n = 30) and low psychosis prone individuals (LP; n = 31). Synesthesia was evaluated using self-report and two performance-based tasks. Results revealed that HP subjects experienced more synesthetic experiences than the LP only on the self-report measure...
August 2016: Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Vijayachandra Ramachandra
Past research on lexical-gustatory synesthesia (people who associate words with tastes) has shown that linguistic factors underlie the inducer (word)-concurrent (taste) mappings in these individuals. The developmental cognitive model envisioned by Simner and Haywood (2009), and an extension of it proposed in this paper can be used to understand these linguistic associations. The first aim of the current case study was to test these models by examining the linguistic factors associated with this type of synesthesia...
July 2016: Brain and Cognition
Isabel Arend, Shiran Ofir, Avishai Henik
Synesthesia is characterized by the association between different stimuli modalities. For example, in sequence-space synesthesia, numbers, weekdays, months, and musical tones are visualized in specific spatial locations. Although sequence-space synesthesia tends to co-occur with other types of synesthesia (e.g., grapheme-color), our knowledge about how these individuals represent space is still limited. A central issue for understanding spatial processing refers to the coordinate system used to represent spatial locations...
June 2016: Brain and Cognition
Marcel Neckar, Petr Bob
BACKGROUND: Synesthesia manifests as unusual associative connections that may cause intriguing experiences due to various cross-modal connections, for example, a sound may be experienced as color. Several findings indicate that temporal lobe seizures or seizure-like conditions and increased excitability may influence various unusual cross-sensory links and synesthetic experiences. METHODS: In this context, the purpose of this study is to find relationships between word-color associations and psychopathological symptoms related to temporal lobe epilepsy and limbic irritability (Limbic System Checklist [LSCL-33]), symptoms of traumatic stress (Trauma Symptoms Checklist [TSC-40]), and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI-II]) in 71 participants (mean age =25...
2016: Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Laura J Blazej, Ariel M Cohen-Goldberg
Grapheme-color and lexical-color synesthesia, the association of colors with letters and words, respectively, are some of the most commonly studied forms of synesthesia, yet relatively little is known about how synesthesia arises from and interfaces with the reading process. To date, synesthetic experiences in reading have only been reported in relation to a word's graphemes and meaning. We present a case study of WBL, a 21-year old male who experiences synesthetic colors for letters and words. Over 3 months, we obtained nearly 3000 color judgments for visually presented monomorphemic, prefixed, suffixed, and compound words as well as judgments for pseudocompound words (e...
February 2016: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Romke Rouw, H Steven Scholte
The recent sharp increase in studies on synesthesia has taught us a lot about this fascinating condition. Still, while we define synesthesia as 'the mixing of senses', the great majority of synesthesia studies focus on only one synesthesia type (in particular grapheme-color synesthesia). In this study, a large group of subjects are tested on the presence or absence of different types of synesthesia. Efforts to recruit a representative sample of the Dutch population, not related to or aware of synesthesia as a research topic, helped counter a selection bias or a self-report bias in our subject group...
July 29, 2016: Neuropsychologia
Daisuke Hamada, Hiroki Yamamoto, Jun Saiki
Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which certain types of stimuli elicit involuntary perceptions in an unrelated pathway. A common type of synesthesia is grapheme-color synesthesia, in which the visual perception of letters and numbers stimulates the perception of a specific color. Previous studies have often collected relatively small numbers of grapheme-color associations per synesthete, but the accumulation of a large quantity of data has greater promise for uncovering the mechanisms underlying synesthetic association...
January 7, 2016: Behavior Research Methods
Anna Plassart, Rebekah C White
In 1893, Théodore Flournoy published a landmark book on synesthesia - Des phénomènes de synopsie [Of Synoptic Phenomena]. The book presented a pioneering chapter on synesthetic personification, including numerous striking case examples, and it is frequently cited by twenty-first-century researchers as providing some of the earliest examples of the phenomenon. Flournoy employed a broad definition of personification - the representation of stimuli as concrete and specific individuals or inanimate objects. This definition encompassed a more extensive set of phenomena than the definition used by researchers today and was illustrated by cases that would fall outside of contemporary subtypes of synesthetic personification...
November 13, 2015: Journal of the History of the Neurosciences
Clare N Jonas, Paul B Hibbard
Synesthesia is a neurological condition in which an inducer stimulus in one sense leads to a concurrent percept in a second sense. The immune hypothesis of synesthesia links synesthesia to immune-related conditions such as migraine. More specifically, migraine with aura may be linked to grapheme-color synesthesia as both involve cortical hyperexcitability. In this study, 161 female synesthetes, and 92 female nonsynesthetes, completed an online questionnaire about synesthesia and migraine. We found no general link between migraine and synesthesia nor between migraine with aura and grapheme-color synesthesia...
2015: Perception
Karen M Whittingham
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
March 2016: Perception
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