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Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction [#608]
Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction [#608]

Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction [#608]

Julia Simner
  • Introduces the many different ways synaesthesia presents, from tasty words to colourful sounds
  • Explores the fascinating stories of different individuals' experiences of the world through their forms of synaesthesia
  • Discusses the links between synaesthesia and artistic creativity
  • Relates our contemporary understanding of the neuroscience behind synaesthesia
  • Discusses how synaesthesia can be detected and measured through specialist tests

Can you taste words, feel flavours as a shape, or hear colors? If so you may well have synaesthesia, a neurological condition that gives rise to a 'merging of the senses'.
This Very Short Introduction describes synaesthesia's many forms, and delves into the underlying neuroscience. Explaining the scientific basis for synaesthesia, Julia Simner considers how we can measure the effects synaesthesia has on the everyday lives of people living with it. Exploring the fascinating stories of different synaesthetes' experiences of the world, she also discusses the documented links between synaesthesia, childhood development, memory, personality, and artistic creativity, and the potential limitations synaesthesia might impose.


1: What is synaesthesia?
2: Synaesthesia in the brain
3: Synaesthesia and the arts
4: The ups and downs of synaesthesia: is it a 'gift' or a 'condition'?
5: Where does synaesthesia come from? The role of genetics and learning
6: The question of synaesthesia
Further reading

About the author: 

Julia Simner, Professor of Psychology, University of Sussex
Julia Simner is a neuropsychologist and researcher in the field of synaesthesia research and multi-sensory processing. Her education and career have taken her to the Universities of Oxford, Toronto, Edinburgh and Sussex, and she now runs the Synesthesia and Sensory Integration lab at the University of Sussex. She is the Science Officer for the UK Synaesthesia Association, Director of the ERC-funded MULTISENSE project, and Director of the Savant Network. Her previous book, The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia was recently shortlisted for the British Medical Association's Medical Book of the Year.

"Can reality be measurably different inside different heads? Synaesthesia teaches us that the answer is yes, and no one is better positioned than Simner to tell the story of this remarkable phenomenon. She and her colleagues have helmed the cutting edge of this research for decades, and she has now penned a wonderful book that deftly balances brevity with depth." - Dr David Eagleman, neuroscientist at Stanford University

Product details

ISBN : 9780198749219

Julia Simner
152 Pages
111 x 174 mm
Pub date
Jun 2019
Very Short Introductions
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Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction [#608]

Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction [#608]

Synaesthesia: A Very Short Introduction [#608]