The physiology of coloured hearing. A PET activation study of colour-word synaesthesia.

Details

Serval ID
serval:BIB_6373DEFB4773
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Title
The physiology of coloured hearing. A PET activation study of colour-word synaesthesia.
Journal
Brain
Author(s)
Paulesu E., Harrison J., Baron-Cohen S., Watson J.D., Goldstein L., Heather J., Frackowiak R.S., Frith C.D.
ISSN
0006-8950 (Print)
ISSN-L
0006-8950
Publication state
Published
Issued date
1995
Volume
118 ( Pt 3)
Pages
661-676
Language
english
Notes
Publication types: Comparative Study ; Journal ArticlePublication Status: ppublish
Abstract
In a small proportion of the normal population, stimulation in one modality can lead to perceptual experience in another, a phenomenon known as synaesthesia. In the most common form of synaesthesia, hearing a word can result in the experience of colour. We have used the technique of PET, which detects brain activity as changes of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF), to study the physiology of colour-word synaesthesia in a group of six synaesthete women. During rCBF measurements synaesthetes and six controls were blindfolded and were presented with spoken words or pure tones. Auditory word, but not tone, stimulation triggered synaesthesia in synaesthetes. In both groups word stimulation compared with tone stimulation activated the classical language areas of the perisylvian regions. In synaesthetes, a number of additional visual associative areas, including the posterior inferior temporal cortex and the parieto-occipital junctions, were activated. The former has been implicated in the integration of colour with shape and in verbal tasks which require attention to visual features of objects to which words refer. Synaesthetes also showed activations in the right prefrontal cortex, insula and superior temporal gyrus. By contrast, no significant activity was detected in relatively lower visual areas, including areas V1, V2 and V4. These results suggest that colour-word synaesthesia may result from the activity of brain areas concerned with language and visual feature integration. In the case of colour-word synaesthesia, conscious visual experience appears to occur without activation of the primary visual cortex.
Keywords
Adult, Auditory Perception/physiology, Cerebral Cortex/physiopathology, Cerebral Cortex/radionuclide imaging, Cerebrovascular Circulation, Color Perception/physiology, Female, Functional Laterality, Humans, Image Processing, Computer-Assisted, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Middle Aged, Models, Neurological, Somatosensory Cortex/physiopathology, Somatosensory Cortex/radionuclide imaging, Speech Perception/physiology, Temporal Lobe/physiopathology, Temporal Lobe/radionuclide imaging, Tomography, Emission-Computed, Writing
Pubmed
Web of science
Create date
16/09/2011 19:51
Last modification date
20/08/2019 14:20
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