Examining the relationship between schizotypy and self-reported visual imagery vividness in grapheme-color synaesthesia

Janik McErlean, Agnieszka B., and Banissy, Michael J. (2016) Examining the relationship between schizotypy and self-reported visual imagery vividness in grapheme-color synaesthesia. Frontiers in Psychology, 7. 131. pp. 1-8.

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Synaesthesia is a condition in which one property of a stimulus triggers a secondary experience not typically associated with the first (e.g., seeing achromatic graphemes can evoke the perception of color). Recent work has explored a variety of cognitive and perceptual traits associated with synaesthesia. One example is in the domain of personality, where higher rates of positive schizotypy and openness to experience and lower agreeableness have been reported in synaesthetes who experience color as their evoked sensation relative to typical adult controls. Additionally, grapheme-color synaesthetes have previously been reported to show elevated mental imagery compared to typical adults. Here, we aimed to further elucidate the relationship between personality, synaesthesia, and other cognitive traits. In Study 1, we examined self-reported schizotypy and self-reported visual imagery vividness in grapheme-color synaesthetes and typical adults. Our results partially replicated previous findings by showing that synaesthesia was associated with greater positive schizotypy and enhanced self-reported imagery vividness. The results also extend previous reports by demonstrating that differences in positive schizotypy and mental imagery vividness are not related in grapheme-color synaesthesia. In Study 2, we sought to build on prior work showing lower agreeableness and increased openness to experience in synaesthetes by examining whether grapheme-color synaesthesia is associated with other conceptually related traits; namely lower self-monitoring and increased sensation seeking. We did not find any differences between synaesthetes and controls on either of these traits. These findings are discussed in relation to potential factors that may contribute to the observed personality profile in grapheme-color synaesthesia.

Item ID: 43029
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1664-1078
Keywords: synaesthesia, schizotypy, imagery, sensation seeking, self monitoring
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© 2016 Janik McErlean and Banissy. 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.


Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), BIAL Foundation (74/12)
Date Deposited: 01 Aug 2016 02:28
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520406 Sensory processes, perception and performance @ 100%
SEO Codes: 92 HEALTH > 9205 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) > 920599 Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health) not elsewhere classified @ 100%
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