Color and texture associations in voice-induced synesthesia

Moos, A., Simmons, D. , Simner, J. and Smith, R. (2013) Color and texture associations in voice-induced synesthesia. Frontiers in Psychology, 4, p. 568. (doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00568)



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Voice-induced synesthesia, a form of synesthesia in which synesthetic perceptions are induced by the sounds of people's voices, appears to be relatively rare and has not been systematically studied. In this study we investigated the synesthetic color and visual texture perceptions experienced in response to different types of “voice quality” (e.g., nasal, whisper, falsetto). Experiences of three different groups—self-reported voice synesthetes, phoneticians, and controls—were compared using both qualitative and quantitative analysis in a study conducted online. Whilst, in the qualitative analysis, synesthetes used more color and texture terms to describe voices than either phoneticians or controls, only weak differences, and many similarities, between groups were found in the quantitative analysis. Notable consistent results between groups were the matching of higher speech fundamental frequencies with lighter and redder colors, the matching of “whispery” voices with smoke-like textures, and the matching of “harsh” and “creaky” voices with textures resembling dry cracked soil. These data are discussed in the light of current thinking about definitions and categorizations of synesthesia, especially in cases where individuals apparently have a range of different synesthetic inducers.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Moos, Ms Anja and Smith, Dr Rachel and Simmons, Dr David
Authors: Moos, A., Simmons, D., Simner, J., and Smith, R.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PE English
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN (Online):1664-1078
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Psychology 4:568
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
Lord Kelvin/Adam Smith Studentship SchemeDr R SmithUniversity of GlasgowUNSPECIFIED