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Better together? The cognitive advantages of synaesthesia for time, numbers, and space

Hale, J and Thompson, JM and Morgan, HM and Cappelletti, M and Kadosh, RC (2014) Better together? The cognitive advantages of synaesthesia for time, numbers, and space. COGNITIVE NEUROPSYCHOLOGY, 31 (7-8). pp. 545-564. ISSN 0264-3294

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Abstract

Synaesthesia for time, numbers and space (TNS synaesthesia) is thought to have costs and benefits for recalling and manipulating time and number. There are two competing theories about how TNS synaesthesia affects cognition. The ‘magnitude’ account predicts TNS synaesthesia may affect cardinal magnitude judgements, whereas the ‘sequence’ account suggests it may affect ordinal sequence judgements and could rely on visuospatial working memory. We aimed to comprehensively assess the cognitive consequences of TNS synaesthesia and distinguish between these two accounts. TNS synaesthetes, grapheme-colour synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes completed a behavioural task battery. Three tasks involved cardinal and ordinal comparisons of temporal, numerical and spatial stimuli; we also examined visuospatial working memory. TNS synaesthetes were significantly more accurate than non-synaesthetes in making ordinal judgements about space. This difference was explained by significantly higher visuospatial working memory accuracy. Our findings demonstrate an advantage of TNS synaesthesia which is more in line with the sequence account.

Keywords: synaesthesia, time, number, sequence-space, working memory

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Cognitive Neuropsychology on 10/10/2015, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/02643294.2014.967759.
Uncontrolled Keywords: 1109 Neurosciences, 1701 Psychology, 1702 Cognitive Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Divisions: Natural Sciences and Psychology
Publisher: ROUTLEDGE JOURNALS, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD
Related URLs:
Date Deposited: 08 May 2015 11:34
Last Modified: 10 Oct 2015 23:50
DOI or Identification number: 10.1080/02643294.2014.967759
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1011

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