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Synesthesia in School Age Children

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Host Ange Eaton

Part II – Synesthesia In Childhood

Angela’s second guest in the series is Dr. Julia Simner, Department of Psychology, The University of Edinburgh on January 29th. Dr Simner now runs the Synaesthesia & Sensory Integration Lab, where she examines cross-modal mappings in people with synaesthesia and in the population at large. Dr Simner is a cognitive neuropsychologist who studied in languages, language sciences and experimental psychology at the Universities of Paris/Sorbonne, Oxford, Toronto, and Sussex.

Synesthesia is an inherited condition which causes unusual perceptions or associations, triggered by everyday activities like reading, speaking, or eating. For example, synaesthetes might perceive colours when listening to music, or tastes in the mouth when reading words. Synaesthesia has been linked to differences in white/grey matter structure, and can involve direct sensory crossing (e.g., sound to vision), or can be mediated by higher level functions such as language. Her work examines the prevalence, cognition, perception, inheritence, neuroscience, aesthetics and history of synaesthesia. She also examines sensory integration in the general population, and how sensory perception influences language processing.