Grapheme-color and tone-color synesthesia is associated with structural brain changes in visual regions implicated in color, form, and motion

Michael J Banissy, Lauren Stewart, Neil G Muggleton, Timothy D Griffiths, Vincent Y Walsh, Jamie Ward, Ryota Kanai

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Synesthesia is a rare condition in which stimulation in one modality leads to a secondary experience in another sensory modality. Varying accounts attribute the condition to either neuroanatomical differences between the synesthetes and non-synesthetes or functional differences in how sensory brain regions interact. This study employed voxel-based morphometry to examine whether synesthetes who experience both grapheme-color and tone-color synesthesia as their evoked sensation show neuroanatomical differences in gray matter volume compared to non-synesthetes. We observed that synesthetes showed an increase in gray matter volume in left posterior fusiform gyrus (FG), but a concomitant decrease in anterior regions of left FG and left MT/V5. These findings imply that synesthesia for color is linked to neuroanatomical changes between adjacent regions of the visual system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCognitive Neuroscience
Volume3
Issue1
Pages (from-to)29-35
Number of pages7
ISSN1758-8928
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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