Date of Presentation

5-2-2019 12:00 AM

Embargo Period

11-2-2019

College

School of Osteopathic Medicine

Poster Abstract

Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which experiences in one sensory or cognitive domain are associated with automatic, involuntary experiences in a second domain. The present study investigated the relationship between the consistency and strength of these associations in grapheme-color synesthesia, in which a specific color is experienced when seeing a particular letter or number. Firstly, synesthetic participants completed the online Synesthesia Battery (SB) which measures the consistency with which individuals choose the same color for the same grapheme and returns a standardized score which distinguishes genuine synesthetes from non-synesthetes. Secondly, synesthetes and age/gender-matched non-synesthetic control participants completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) which measures the strength of associations. In the IAT, two response keys were paired with the synesthetes’ two most consistent SB associations in either congruent (each key is associated with a grapheme and its correct synesthetic color, e.g., A + red, B + green) or incongruent (i.e., A + green, B + red) conditions. However, on each trial, only a single grapheme or color is presented and participants make speeded responses. We expected that synesthetes would respond more quickly and accurately when their grapheme/color associations were paired congruently (e.g., A/red, B/blue) as opposed to incongruently (i.e., A/blue, B/red). In contrast, non-synesthetic controls should show no significant difference between congruent and incongruent trials because they do not have pre-existing associations between graphemes and colors. To the extent that strong associations should also be consistent, we also expected a positive correlation between SB scores and congruency magnitudes in the synesthetes.

Keywords

synesthesia

Disciplines

Cognitive Neuroscience | Medicine and Health Sciences | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychological Phenomena and Processes

Available for download on Saturday, November 02, 2019

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May 2nd, 12:00 AM

Using the Implicit Association Test to Investigate the Strength of Synesthetic Associations

Synesthesia is a phenomenon in which experiences in one sensory or cognitive domain are associated with automatic, involuntary experiences in a second domain. The present study investigated the relationship between the consistency and strength of these associations in grapheme-color synesthesia, in which a specific color is experienced when seeing a particular letter or number. Firstly, synesthetic participants completed the online Synesthesia Battery (SB) which measures the consistency with which individuals choose the same color for the same grapheme and returns a standardized score which distinguishes genuine synesthetes from non-synesthetes. Secondly, synesthetes and age/gender-matched non-synesthetic control participants completed an Implicit Association Test (IAT) which measures the strength of associations. In the IAT, two response keys were paired with the synesthetes’ two most consistent SB associations in either congruent (each key is associated with a grapheme and its correct synesthetic color, e.g., A + red, B + green) or incongruent (i.e., A + green, B + red) conditions. However, on each trial, only a single grapheme or color is presented and participants make speeded responses. We expected that synesthetes would respond more quickly and accurately when their grapheme/color associations were paired congruently (e.g., A/red, B/blue) as opposed to incongruently (i.e., A/blue, B/red). In contrast, non-synesthetic controls should show no significant difference between congruent and incongruent trials because they do not have pre-existing associations between graphemes and colors. To the extent that strong associations should also be consistent, we also expected a positive correlation between SB scores and congruency magnitudes in the synesthetes.