Beyond visual imagery: How modality-specific is enhanced mental imagery in synesthesia?

Article


Spiller, M., Jonas, Clare N., Simner, Julia and Jansari, Ashok 2015. Beyond visual imagery: How modality-specific is enhanced mental imagery in synesthesia? Consciousness and Cognition. 31, pp. 73-85.
AuthorsSpiller, M., Jonas, Clare N., Simner, Julia and Jansari, Ashok
Abstract

Synesthesia based in visual modalities has been associated with reports of vivid visual
imagery. We extend this finding to consider whether other forms of synesthesia are also
associated with enhanced imagery, and whether this enhancement reflects the modality of
synesthesia. We used self‐report imagery measures across multiple sensory modalities,
comparing synesthetes’ responses (with a variety of forms of synesthesia) to those of nonsynesthete
matched controls. Synesthetes reported higher levels of visual, auditory,
gustatory, olfactory and tactile imagery and a greater level of imagery use. Furthermore, their
reported enhanced imagery is restricted to the modalities involved in the individual’s
synesthesia. There was also a relationship between the number of forms of synesthesia an
individual has, and the reported vividness of their imagery, highlighting the need for future
research to consider the impact of multiple forms of synesthesia. We also recommend the
use of behavioral measures to validate these self‐report findings.

JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Journal citation31, pp. 73-85
ISSN10538100
Year2015
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
License
CC BY-NC-ND
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.concog.2014.10.010
Publication dates
Print01 Jan 2015
Publication process dates
Deposited17 Jun 2015
Accepted15 Nov 2014
FunderUniversity of East London
University of East London
Copyright information© 2014 Elsevier
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