Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Consistencies Found In Synaesthesia: Letter 'A' Is Red For Many; 'V' Is Purple

Date:
April 30, 2008
Source:
Association for Psychological Science
Summary:
New research adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that commonalities do indeed exists across synesthaetes. In their own study of 70 synesthaetes, and a reanalysis of 19 more in previously published data, psychologists have found that synesthaetes share certain grapheme-color combinations.

A quirky psychological phenomenon known as “grapheme-color synaesthesia” describes individuals who experience vivid colors whenever they see, hear, or think of ordinary letters and digits. A hallmark of synaesthesia is that individuals seem to be idiosyncratic in their experiences. That is, most synesthaetes will consistently see the same colors accompanied with specific graphemes, but few of these experiences appear to be shared with other synesthetes.

But new research appearing in the April issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, adds to a growing body of evidence suggesting that commonalities do indeed exists across synesthetes. In their own study of 70 synesthetes, and a reanalysis of 19 more in previously published data, psychologists Julia Simner, of the University of Edinburgh and Jamie Ward of the University of Sussex have found that synesthetes share certain grapheme-color combinations (for example, the letter ‘a’ is frequently associated with seeing the color red). Interestingly, they found that the particular pairings are determined by how frequently graphemes and the colour terms are used is used in language: common letters (e.g., “a”) pair with common colour terms (e.g., ‘red’) and uncommon letters (e.g., ‘v’) pair with uncommon colour terms (e.g., ‘purple’). This shows that perceptual synaesthetic experiences are influenced by environmental learning.

They then made an interesting discovery about all people. Colleagues had reported that that the frequency of graphemes influenced the saturation of the colour, but Simner and Ward discovered the root of this effect: that colors we speak about most often (i.e., those with the highest linguistic frequency) are the least saturated (e.g., black, white).

Although these findings may help explain common features of synaesthesia, the precise relationship remains unclear, according to the authors. However, the current study aligns with past research suggesting “that different measures of such associations converge to illustrate a nonarbitrary relationship for all people between color names and color space.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Association for Psychological Science. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Association for Psychological Science. "Consistencies Found In Synaesthesia: Letter 'A' Is Red For Many; 'V' Is Purple." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 30 April 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080429171000.htm>.
Association for Psychological Science. (2008, April 30). Consistencies Found In Synaesthesia: Letter 'A' Is Red For Many; 'V' Is Purple. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080429171000.htm
Association for Psychological Science. "Consistencies Found In Synaesthesia: Letter 'A' Is Red For Many; 'V' Is Purple." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/04/080429171000.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Lost Brain Cells To Blame For Sleep Problems Among Seniors

Newsy (Aug. 21, 2014) According to a new study, elderly people might have trouble sleeping because of the loss of a certain group of neurons in the brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins