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Synaesthetic colours do not camouflage form in visual search.

Gheri C, Chopping S, Morgan MJ - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2008)

Bottom Line: As well as using a condition where synaesthetic colours should have aided visual search, we introduced a condition where the colours experienced by synaesthetes would be expected to make them worse than controls.We found no evidence for differences between synaesthetes and normal controls, either when colours should have helped them or where they should have hindered.We conclude that the colours reported by our population of synaesthetes are not equivalent to perceptual signals, but arise at a cognitive level where they are unable to affect visual search.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Applied Vision Research Centre, The City University, Northampton Square, London ECV1 0HB, UK.

ABSTRACT
One of the major issues in synaesthesia research is to identify the level of processing involved in the formation of the subjective colours experienced by synaesthetes: are they perceptual phenomena or are they due to memory and association learning? To address this question, we tested whether the colours reported by a group of grapheme-colour synaesthetes (previously studied in an functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment) influenced them in a visual search task. As well as using a condition where synaesthetic colours should have aided visual search, we introduced a condition where the colours experienced by synaesthetes would be expected to make them worse than controls. We found no evidence for differences between synaesthetes and normal controls, either when colours should have helped them or where they should have hindered. We conclude that the colours reported by our population of synaesthetes are not equivalent to perceptual signals, but arise at a cognitive level where they are unable to affect visual search.

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Related in: MedlinePlus

The graphs show the mean reaction time for each subject in the two conditions. (a) Unique and (b) non-unique conditions. The two lines represent the means of the two groups: the black dashed line for synaesthetes (filled diamonds) and the dotted line (open diamonds) for controls. There was no significant difference between synaesthetes and controls.
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fig2: The graphs show the mean reaction time for each subject in the two conditions. (a) Unique and (b) non-unique conditions. The two lines represent the means of the two groups: the black dashed line for synaesthetes (filled diamonds) and the dotted line (open diamonds) for controls. There was no significant difference between synaesthetes and controls.

Mentions: Per cent correct was high for all subjects in both conditions and did not differ significantly between conditions. Reaction time data are shown in figure 2. Our predictions were that synaesthetes would be faster than controls in the unique condition, but slower in the non-unique one. However, as is evident from inspection, there was no significant difference between groups in either the two conditions. (F=4.25, p=0.87), and there were no significant interactions (F=4.25, p=0.56) between groups and conditions.


Synaesthetic colours do not camouflage form in visual search.

Gheri C, Chopping S, Morgan MJ - Proc. Biol. Sci. (2008)

The graphs show the mean reaction time for each subject in the two conditions. (a) Unique and (b) non-unique conditions. The two lines represent the means of the two groups: the black dashed line for synaesthetes (filled diamonds) and the dotted line (open diamonds) for controls. There was no significant difference between synaesthetes and controls.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2366133&req=5

fig2: The graphs show the mean reaction time for each subject in the two conditions. (a) Unique and (b) non-unique conditions. The two lines represent the means of the two groups: the black dashed line for synaesthetes (filled diamonds) and the dotted line (open diamonds) for controls. There was no significant difference between synaesthetes and controls.
Mentions: Per cent correct was high for all subjects in both conditions and did not differ significantly between conditions. Reaction time data are shown in figure 2. Our predictions were that synaesthetes would be faster than controls in the unique condition, but slower in the non-unique one. However, as is evident from inspection, there was no significant difference between groups in either the two conditions. (F=4.25, p=0.87), and there were no significant interactions (F=4.25, p=0.56) between groups and conditions.

Bottom Line: As well as using a condition where synaesthetic colours should have aided visual search, we introduced a condition where the colours experienced by synaesthetes would be expected to make them worse than controls.We found no evidence for differences between synaesthetes and normal controls, either when colours should have helped them or where they should have hindered.We conclude that the colours reported by our population of synaesthetes are not equivalent to perceptual signals, but arise at a cognitive level where they are unable to affect visual search.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Applied Vision Research Centre, The City University, Northampton Square, London ECV1 0HB, UK.

ABSTRACT
One of the major issues in synaesthesia research is to identify the level of processing involved in the formation of the subjective colours experienced by synaesthetes: are they perceptual phenomena or are they due to memory and association learning? To address this question, we tested whether the colours reported by a group of grapheme-colour synaesthetes (previously studied in an functional magnetic resonance imaging experiment) influenced them in a visual search task. As well as using a condition where synaesthetic colours should have aided visual search, we introduced a condition where the colours experienced by synaesthetes would be expected to make them worse than controls. We found no evidence for differences between synaesthetes and normal controls, either when colours should have helped them or where they should have hindered. We conclude that the colours reported by our population of synaesthetes are not equivalent to perceptual signals, but arise at a cognitive level where they are unable to affect visual search.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus