Synaesthesia Research Laboratory
I take part in research?
- Everyone can
fill out our questionnaire [Word doc] [PDF]. You can return it by
e-mail or post. If you would like to tell us about your synaesthesia,
please fill out this structured questionnaire.
- If you
personify letters/numbers/objects, please fill out our personification
questionnaires [1 - letters/numbers],
[2- objects], in addition to
our general synaesthesia survey/questionnaire.
- If you
live in the area or can stop in the lab in Uxbridge, you may be able to
take part in further testing we conduct here. Please see further
details below on which types of synesthesia we
are currently studying and which testing methods are used.
- If you
wish to participate in testing, it will be extremely useful if you tell us
about your synaesthesia using the structured questionnaire.
1) Do you personify letters, number, or objects?
would like to hear from you if you experience
of letters and numbers: Do you think of letters or
numbers as if they had gender or personality? If so, please fill out our
personification questionnaire this questionnaire
thought: Do you sometimes think of
objects as if they had feelings? E.g., could a coffee mug feel lonely if
separated from a group of similar ones? If so, please fill out this questionnaire (objects).
gender/personality associated with numbers. Modified from: Day, S. (2005).
Some demographic and socio-cultural aspects of synaesthesia. In L.C. Robertson & N. Sagiv (Eds.), Synesthesia:
Perspectives from Cognitive Neuroscience (pp. 11–33). New York: Oxford
2) Other types of synaesthesia we are currently
investigating; please contact us if you experience the following:
> Taste: Do you experience taste
when seeing visual images of food, or when seeing
others eating? (e.g., seeing someone eating a banana on TV?)
> Smell: Do you experience taste
when seeing others people smelling? (e.g., someone is
smelling a rose on TV).
- Any type of
synaesthesia involving faces (coloured faces, or faces images
induced synaesthetically), or any type of face
experience of persistence of touch
smell induced by other stimuli and phantom smells (smell experience
with no apparent source).
- We are
also interested to hear from individuals who began to experience
synaesthesia or other unusual perceptual symptoms following the onset of a
medical problem (note however: we cannot offer medical advice though. If
you are concerned about your health, please talk to you doctor). See
also our prosopagnosia
page for more information about disorders of face perception.
are under no obligation to take part in all of these. You may choose to take
part in a subset of the tests and you may withdraw at any time if you change
your mind. We use a range of tests including:
methods (e.g., sitting in front of the
computer, watching images on the screen while we measure your reaction
time or accuracy in colour judgment tasks or other task). This is the
method we use most commonly. The tests are typically very easy (reaction
time is a rather sensitive measure, often revealing subtle effects even
when the task is simple).
conductance. This is a simple
physiological measure used as one of the components in the polygraph test.
It is sensitive to emotional arousal and can sometimes provide useful
- EEG &
TMS (coming soon).
imaging - MRI. MRI is a non-invasive brain
imaging techinque. Unlike CT or PET, it does NOT
involve X-rays or radioactivity. There are two types of scans we can
obtain in an MRI scanner: (1) a structural (regular) MRI scan provides a
picture of the brain, (2) functional MRI (fMRI)
scan examines which parts of the brain are more active when you perform
particular tasks (e.g., look at stimuli that induce synesthesia).
For safety reasons, the some exclusions apply
(e.g., you cannot participate if you have metal in your body - pacemaker,
clips, plates, shrapnel). We will go over the full checklist before
scheduling a scan. Please note that the scans that are conducted as part
of these experiments are not the same as those obtained for a
diagnostic, clinical study. These images are not read by a
radiologist and cannot be considered diagnostic studies. If you
have reason to think that you require an MRI scan for health reasons,
please contact your general practitioner.
The lab is located in the Gaskell Building on the west side
of the Brunel University Uxbridge campus.
Office GB168; Testing room GB262.
Click here for a campus
map or directions
(accessible via the Metropolitan Tube Line, Uxbridge Station; alternatively, a
visitor parking permit can be arranged upon request).
Updated Oct 2010