Tag Archives: Devin Terhune

Grapheme-colour synaesthesia and enhanced cortical excitability – I find this research quite exciting, but maybe that’s just me

“He found that neurons in the primary visual cortex were more active than expected.”

This is a quote about a study of some grapheme-colour synaesthetes. I’m a grapheme-colour synaesthete, and I’m wondering if this enhanced cortical excitability in the primary visual cortex which they wrote about in New Scientist last November is also an explanation for my superior face memory and the many other atypical visual perception experiences that I’ve had, and have described in this blog. It’s exciting research.

Hyperactive neurons build brains in synaesthesia. New Scientist. 23 November 2011 Issue 2840 p. 18.  http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg21228405.400-hyperactive-neurons-build-brains-in-synaesthesia.html

Thomson, Helen Hyperactive neurons build brains in synaesthesia. New Scientist. 17 November 2011  http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21183-hyperactive-neurons-build-brains-in-synaesthesia.html

Enhanced Cortical Excitability in Grapheme-Color Synesthesia and Its Modulation. Current Biology. Vol 21 Issue 23 2006-2009, 17 November 2011. 10.1016/j.cub.2011.10.032 http://www.cell.com/current-biology/retrieve/pii/S0960982211011936

Free full-text journal papers about defining and redefining synaesthesia!

Thank you British Journal of Psychology. I find this stuff interesting. I hope my horribly neglected readers will also find the February 2012 issue interesting. It has Dr Julia Simner’s most interesting paper and two papers in response to it, one by the leading US synesthesia researcher David Eagleman and and another by synaesthesia researchers Cohen Kadosh and Terhune, plus Simner’s response to the responses. So if you still think synaesthesia is just crossed senses, do take a look.

For those of us with an interest in face recognition as well as synaesthesia, there is also a free paper titled “Integration of faces and voices, but not faces and names, in person recognition”. Happy reading!


What is, and what is not, synaesthesia?

Even though scientists have been studying synaesthesia for well over a century, the world of science still has not settled on a consensus on a scientific definition of synaesthesia. This does not reflect poorly on science or on synaesthesia research, in fact it shows that science is operating in the way that it is supposed to operate, with theoretical frameworks in place that order, drive and inform investigations, but also taking into account new information and reviewing these theoretical frameworks when necessary. I hope to find the time to finish a piece that I am writing about my own ideas on this subject.

Some recent journal papers about the definition of synaesthesia:

Cohen Kadosh, Roi and Terhune, Devin B. Redefining synaesthesia? British Journal of Psychology. Article first published online: 24 FEB 2011. DOI: 10.1111/j.2044-8295.2010.02003.x http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.2044-8295.2010.02003.x/full

Simner, Julia Defining synaesthesia. British Journal of Psychology. 2010 Oct 12. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 20939943 http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20939943