CFC: Cytowic on Synesthesia

x91007 at pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au x91007 at pitvax.xx.rmit.edu.au
Wed Jul 5 13:39:08 EST 1995


CALL FOR COMMENTARIES

PSYCHE, an interdisciplinary electronic journal of research on
consciousness, will very shortly publish the article:

"Synesthesia: Phenomenology and Neuropsychology" by Richard E. Cytowic

We invite your views on this article.

Below is the abstract of the article which has been selected as the
subject of a round of commentaries.  If you are interested in
contributing to the discussion, please contact me and the article will
be forwarded to you.


Stephen Jackson 
University of Wales, Bangor 
pss042 at bangor.ac.uk
_____________________________________________________________________

SYNESTHESIA: PHENOMENOLOGY AND NEUROPSYCHOLOGY 
A review of current knowledge

Richard E. Cytowic

URL: http://psyche.cs.monash.edu.au/psyche/public/volume2-1/
psyche-95-2-10-syn_phenomenology-1-cytowic.html
ftp://ftp.cs.monash.edu.au/psyche/v2-1/
psyche-95-2-10-syn_phenomenology-1-cytowic.txt

KEYWORDS: consciousness, emotion, perception, subjectivity,
synesthesia, neurology.

ABSTRACT:  Synesthesia (Greek, *syn* = together + *aisthesis* =
perception) is the involuntary physical experience of a cross-modal
association. That is, the stimulation of one sensory modality
reliably causes a perception in one or more different senses. Its
phenomenology clearly distinguishes it from metaphor, literary
tropes, sound symbolism, and deliberate artistic contrivances that
sometimes employ the term "synesthesia" to describe their
multisensory joinings. An unexpected demographic and cognitive
constellation co-occurs with synesthesia: females and
non-right-handers predominate, the trait is familial, and memory is
superior while math and spatial navigation suffer. Synesthesia
appears to be a left-hemisphere function that is not cortical in
the conventional sense. The hippocampus is critical for its
experience. Five clinical features comprise its diagnosis.
Synesthesia is "abnormal" only in being statistically rare. It is,
in fact, a normal brain process that is prematurely displayed to

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