Blue bananas: development of a task to investigate the representation of synaesthetic experiences

Ovalle Fresa, Rebecca; Rothen, Nicolas; Meier, Beat (22 April 2016). Blue bananas: development of a task to investigate the representation of synaesthetic experiences (Unpublished). In: Synaesthesia and Cross-modal Perception. Dublin, Ireland. 21.04.-23.04.2016.

Research has mainly focussed on the perceptual nature of synaesthesia. However, synaesthetic experiences are also semantically represented. It was our aim to develop a task to investigate the semantic representation of the concurrent and its relation to the inducer in grapheme-colour synaesthesia. Non-synaesthetes were either tested with a lexical-decision (i.e., word / non-word) or a semantic-classification (i.e., edibility decision) task. Targets consisted of words which were strongly associated with a specific colour (e.g., banana - yellow) and words which were neutral and not associated with a specific colour (e.g., aunt). Target words were primed with colours: the prime target relationship was either intramodal (i.e., word - word) or crossmodal (colour patch - word). Each of the four task versions consisted of three conditions: congruent (same colour for prime and target), incongruent (different colour), and unrelated (neutral target). For both tasks (i.e., lexical and semantic) and both versions of the task (i.e., intramodal and crossmodal), we expected faster reaction times (RTs) in the congruent condition than in the neutral condition and slower RTs in the incongruent condition than the neutral condition. Stronger effects were expected in the intramodal condition due to the overlap in the prime target modality. The results suggest that the hypotheses were partly confirmed. We conclude that the tasks and hypotheses can be readily adopted to investigate the nature of the representation of the synaesthetic experiences.

Item Type:

Conference or Workshop Item (Poster)


07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Psychological and Behavioral Health

UniBE Contributor:

Ovalle Fresa - Bretscher, Rebecca; Rothen, Nicolas and Meier, Beat


100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health




Rebecca Ovalle Fresa-Bretscher

Date Deposited:

09 Jun 2016 11:49

Last Modified:

04 Jan 2017 16:42


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