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  1. David Brang

Published Online: 30 JAN 2010

DOI: 10.1002/9780470479216.corpsy0971

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology

How to Cite

Brang, D. 2010. Synesthesia. Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology. 1.

Author Information

  1. University of California, San Diego

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 JAN 2010


Synesthesia is a perceptual experience in which a stimulus presented through one modality (e.g., hearing) will spontaneously evoke a sensation experienced in an unrelated modality (e.g., vision). For example, an individual may experience a specific color for every given note (e.g., C sharp is red) or every number may be tinged with a specific hue (e.g., five is indigo and seven is green). Although synesthesia can occur in response to drugs (LSD, mescaline, peyote), sensory deprivation, or, in rare cases, brain damage, research has largely focused on individuals with the heritable trait of developmental synesthesia. Synesthesia has no known association with any disorder or condition, and research suggests a higher occurrence among artists and musicians. Furthermore, synesthetes will often lament the loss of these experiences that sometimes occurs because of depression or the use of antidepressants.


  • multisensory;
  • perception;
  • cross-modal