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 July 29, 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 July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

University Quiz Implies Atheists Are Smarter Than Christians

Newsy (July 25, 2014) An online quiz from a required course at Ohio State is making waves for suggesting atheists are inherently smarter than Christians. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

Beatings and Addiction: Pakistan Drug 'clinic' Tortures Patients

AFP (July 24, 2014) A so-called drugs rehab 'clinic' is closed down in Pakistan after police find scores of ‘patients’ chained up alleging serial abuse. Duration 03:05 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

New Painkiller Designed To Discourage Abuse: Will It Work?

Newsy (July 24, 2014) The FDA approved Targiniq ER on Wednesday, a painkiller designed to keep users from abusing it. Like any new medication, however, it has doubters. Video provided by Newsy
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