An independent component analysis of fMRI data of grapheme–colour synaesthesia


Karsten Specht, Department of Biological and Medical Psychology, Bergen fMRI-Group, University of Bergen, Jonas Lies vei 91 5009 Bergen, Norway (e-mail:


The independent component analysis (ICA) method was applied to fMRI data from two synaesthetes and their matched controls while they performed the coloured-word Stroop task and the single-letter (synaesthetic) Stroop task. ICA identified an ‘attention’ network, a ‘perceptual’ network as well as a ‘conflict monitoring’ network. Increased activity was observed in right V4 during the single-letter Stroop task for synaesthetes only. The finding confirms that the same neural substrate that is known to support the experience of physical colours also supports the experience of synaesthetic colours.