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Validating a standardised test battery for synesthesia: Does the Synesthesia Battery reliably detect synesthesia?

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http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1053810015000276
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalConsciousness and Cognition
Volume33
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2015

Abstract

Synesthesia is a neurological condition that gives rise to unusual secondary sensations (e.g., reading letters might trigger the experience of colour). Testing the consistency of these sensations over long time intervals is the behavioural gold standard assessment for detecting synesthesia (e.g., Simner, Mulvenna et al., 2006). In 2007 however, Eagleman and colleagues presented an online 'Synesthesia Battery' of tests aimed at identifying synesthesia by assessing consistency but within a single test session. This battery has been widely used but has never been previously validated against conventional long-term retesting, and with a randomly recruited sample from the general population. We recruited 2847 participants to complete The Synesthesia Battery and found the prevalence of grapheme-colour synesthesia in the general population to be 1.2%. This prevalence was in line with previous conventional prevalence estimates based on conventional long-term testing (e.g., Simner, Mulvenna et al., 2006). This reproduction of similar prevalence rates suggests that the Synesthesia Battery is indeed a valid methodology for assessing synesthesia.

    Research areas

  • Synesthesia , Validation , Test , Assessment , Consistency , Prevalence , Grapheme-colour

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