Synesthesia: an introduction

Article


Banissy, Michael J., Jonas, C. and Cohen Kadosh, Roi 2014. Synesthesia: an introduction. Frontiers in Psychology. 5 (1414).
AuthorsBanissy, Michael J., Jonas, C. and Cohen Kadosh, Roi
Abstract

Synesthesia is a rare experience where one property of a stimulus evokes a second experience not associated with the first. For example, in lexical-gustatory synesthesia words evoke the experience of tastes (Ward and Simner, 2003). There are at least 60 known variants of synesthesia (Day, 2013), including reports of synesthetic experiences of color (Baron-Cohen et al., 1987), taste (Ward and Simner, 2003), touch (Ward et al., 2008), and sound (Saenz and Koch, 2008). The lower bound prevalence of the condition is considered to be approximately 4% (Simner et al., 2006). While synesthetic experiences have been documented since the 1800s (Jewanski et al., 2009), it is only in the last few decades that the authenticity of synesthetic experiences and mechanisms that contribute to them has been explored in depth (Ward, 2013). This resurgence in research has led to developments in our understanding of mechanisms that contribute to the synesthetic experience and the use of synesthesia as a unique experimental preparation to inform us about typical models of cognition and perception (e.g., Cohen Kadosh and Henik, 2007; Simner, 2007; Bargary and Mitchell, 2008; Rouw et al., 2011). This has also resulted in many open questions and debates, several of which are touched upon in this research topic. Specifically, this research topic is focused around the following themes: What constitutes synesthesia and how does it relate to typical cross-modal interactions? What mechanisms contribute to synesthetic experiences? Are there broader cognitive and perceptual traits associated with synesthesia, and what mechanisms mediate their relationship? In total, there are 20 articles, each addressing at least one of these themes.

JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Journal citation5 (1414)
ISSN1664-1078
Year2014
PublisherFrontiers Media SA
Publisher's version
License
CC BY
Web address (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01414
Publication dates
Print15 Dec 2014
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Mar 2015
Accepted19 Nov 2014
Copyright information© 2014 Banissy, Jonas and Cohen Kadosh. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
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