Examining the Relationship Between Schizotypy and Self-Reported Visual Imagery Vividness in Grapheme-Color Synaesthesia.

Janik McErlean, Agnieszka B and Banissy, Michael J.. 2016. Examining the Relationship Between Schizotypy and Self-Reported Visual Imagery Vividness in Grapheme-Color Synaesthesia. Frontiers in Psychology, 7(131), pp. 1-8. ISSN 1664-1078 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Synaesthesia is a condition in which one property of a stimulus triggers a secondary experience not typically associated with the first (e.g., seeing achromatic graphemes can evoke the perception of color). Recent work has explored a variety of cognitive and perceptual traits associated with synaesthesia. One example is in the domain of personality, where higher rates of positive schizotypy and openness to experience and lower agreeableness have been reported in synaesthetes who experience color as their evoked sensation relative to typical adult controls. Additionally, grapheme-color synaesthetes have previously been reported to show elevated mental imagery compared to typical adults. Here, we aimed to further elucidate the relationship between personality, synaesthesia, and other cognitive traits. In Study 1, we examined self-reported schizotypy and self-reported visual imagery vividness in grapheme-color synaesthetes and typical adults. Our results partially replicated previous findings by showing that synaesthesia was associated with greater positive schizotypy and enhanced self-reported imagery vividness. The results also extend previous reports by demonstrating that differences in positive schizotypy and mental imagery vividness are not related in grapheme-color synaesthesia. In Study 2, we sought to build on prior work showing lower agreeableness and increased openness to experience in synaesthetes by examining whether grapheme-color synaesthesia is associated with other conceptually related traits; namely lower self-monitoring and increased sensation seeking. We did not find any differences between synaesthetes and controls on either of these traits. These findings are discussed in relation to potential factors that may contribute to the observed personality profile in grapheme-color synaesthesia.

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AJM was supported by a Ph.D. Studentship from the Economic and Social Research Council. MB is supported by the BIAL Foundation (74/12).


synaesthesia, schizotypy, imagery, sensation seeking, self-monitoring

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29 February 2016Published
25 January 2016Accepted
16 October 2015Submitted

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Date Deposited:

08 Nov 2016 12:31

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:21

Peer Reviewed:

Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.



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