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Synesthesia for manual alphabet letters and numeral signs in second-language users of signed languages

Atkinson, J; Lyons, T; Eagleman, D; Woll, B; Ward, J; (2016) Synesthesia for manual alphabet letters and numeral signs in second-language users of signed languages. Neurocase , 22 (4) pp. 379-386. 10.1080/13554794.2016.1198489. Green open access

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Abstract

Many synesthetes experience colors when viewing letters or digits. We document, for the first time, an analogous phenomenon among users of signed languages who showed color synesthesia for fingerspelled letters and signed numerals. Four synesthetes experienced colors when they viewed manual letters and numerals (in two cases, colors were subjectively projected on to the hands). There was a correspondence between the colors experienced for written graphemes and their manual counterparts, suggesting that the development of these two types of synesthesia is interdependent despite the fact that these systems are superficially distinct and rely on different perceptual recognition mechanisms in the brain.

Type: Article
Title: Synesthesia for manual alphabet letters and numeral signs in second-language users of signed languages
Location: England
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/13554794.2016.1198489
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13554794.2016.1198489
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Neurocase on 28 June 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/13554794.2016.1198489
Keywords: American sign language, British sign language, Synesthesia, deaf, fingerspelling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1502671
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