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Alison Hochman, Jasmine Awad, Rebecca Esquenazi, Arthur Ilnicki, Stefanie Drew; Red Eight, Green Eight: Color Shifts in Synesthesia. Journal of Vision 2017;17(10):1361. doi: 10.1167/17.10.1361.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Introduction: Synesthesia is a condition in which a single stimulus elicits multisensory perception. This is a case study investigating the experiences of a grapheme-color synesthete, Subject 1 (S1), who perceives a color when presented with achromatic letters or numbers. Many studies support the notion that synesthesia remains consistent over time. This is also referred to as the 'gold standard' (Barron-Cohen et al., 1996; Rich et al., 2005; Ward & Simmer, 2005). In our previous study examining bidirectional effects in grapheme-color synesthesia, S1 reported inconsistencies in her perception over a period of two years. This prompted further examination. Method: As a preliminary step for both the pilot and subsequent experiment, S1 completed the online Synesthesia Battery exam developed by Eagleman et al. (2007) in April 2013 and again in June 2015. Similarly, we measured S1's synesthetic color perceptions in the lab each time using the MATLAB Synesthesia Toolkit (Eagleman et al., 2007). Results: Upon reviewing S1's color perception responses, inconsistencies were noted on the Synesthetic battery exam and the Synesthesia Toolkit responses. S1 gained percepts and lost percepts between tests, and the color induced for the grapheme "8" changed from red to green between the pilot and subsequent experiment. Discussion: Our study reports a synesthete, who was highly accurate when tested using her color percepts in 2013 and 2015, having temporally inconsistent reported colors. Examining synesthetes who experience changes such as this could improve understanding of synesthesia and its underlying neurological mechanisms.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2017
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