Social perception in synaesthesia for colour

Janik McErlean, Agnieszka B., Susilo, Tirta, Rezlescu, Constanin, Bray, Amy, and Banissy, Michael J. (2016) Social perception in synaesthesia for colour. Cognitive Neuropsychology, 33 (7-8). pp. 378-387.

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Synaesthesia is a rare phenomenon in which stimulation in one modality (e.g., audition) evokes a secondary percept not associated with the first (e.g., colour). Prior work has suggested links between synaesthesia and other neurodevelopmental conditions that are linked to altered social perception abilities. With this in mind, here we sought to examine social perception abilities in grapheme–colour synaesthesia (where achromatic graphemes evoke colour experiences) by examining facial identity and facial emotion perception in synaesthetes and controls. Our results indicate that individuals who experience grapheme–colour synaesthesia outperformed controls on tasks involving fine visual discrimination of facial identity and emotion, but not on tasks involving holistic face processing. These findings are discussed in the context of broader perceptual and cognitive traits previously associated with synaesthesia for colour, with the suggestion that performance benefits shown by grapheme–colour synaesthetes may be related to domain-general visual discrimination biases observed in this group.

Item ID: 48595
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1464-0627
Keywords: emotion recognition, facial affect, identity processing, synaesthesia, synesthesia
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), Marie Skłodowska-Curie Action, BIAL Foundation
Projects and Grants: BIAL Foundation grant number 74/12, ESRC grant number ES/K00882X/1
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2017 22:15
FoR Codes: 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5204 Cognitive and computational psychology > 520406 Sensory processes, perception and performance @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences @ 100%
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