Synaesthesia research


Synaesthesia has long been of interest to scientists and artists alike. In the Wider Synaesthesia Literature section we catalogue publications on synaesthesia. On this page are some of our publications.

in press

Rothen, N., Scott, R.B., Mealor, A.D., Coolbear, D.J., Burckhardt, V., & Ward, J. (in press). Synaesthetic experiences enhance unconscious learning. Cognitive Neuroscience.

Ward, J., Hovard, P., Jones, A., & Rothen, N. (in press). Enhanced Recognition Memory in Grapheme-Colour Synaesthesia for Different Categories of Visual Stimuli. Frontiers in Cognitive Science.


Banissy, M. J., & Ward, J. (2013). Mechanisms of self-other representations and vicarious experiences of touch in mirror-touch synesthesia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 112.

Banissy, M.J., Holle, H., Cassell, J., Annett, L., Tsakanikos, E., Walsh, V., Spiller, M.J., & Ward. J. (2013). Personality traits in people with synaesthesia: Do synaesthetes have an atypical personality profile? Personality and Individual Differences, 54, 828–831.

Goller, A.I., Richards, K., Novak, S. & Ward, J. (2013). Mirror-touch Synaesthesia in the Phantom Limbs of Amputees. Cortex.49, 243-251.

Pritchard, J., Rothen, N., Coolbear, D., & Ward, J. (2013). Enhanced associative memory for colour (but not shape or location) in synaesthesia. Cognition, 127 (2), 230-234.

Rothen, N., & Meier, B. (2013). Why vicarious experience is not an instance of synaesthesia. Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, 7, 128.

Rothen, N., Nikolić, D., Jürgens, U.M., Mroczko, A., Cock, J., & Meier, B. (2013). Psychophysiological evidence for the genuineness of swimming-style colour synaesthesia. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (1), 35-46.

Rothen, N., Seth, A.K., Witzel, C., & Ward, J. (2013). Diagnosing synaesthesia with online colour pickers: Maximising sensitivity and specificity. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 215 (1), 156-160.

Rothen, N., Tsakanikos, E., Meier, B., & Ward, J. (2013). Coloured Letters and Numbers (CLaN): a reliable factor-analysis based synaesthesia questionnaire. Consciousness and Cognition, 22 (3), 1047-1060.

Terhune, D.B., Rothen, N., & Cohen Kadosh, R. (2013). Correcting misconceptions about synaesthesia. Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, 103, 1-2.

Ward, J. & Wright, T.D. (in press). Sensory substitution as an artificially acquired synaesthesia. Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews.

Ward, J. (2013). Synesthesia. Annual Review of Psychology, 64, 49-75.


Holle, H., Warne, K., Seth, A. K., Critchley, H. D., & Ward, J. (2012). The neural basis of contagious itch and why some people are more prone to it. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, USA, 109, 19816–1982.

Banissy, M.J., Cassell, J.E., Fitzpatrick, S., Ward, J., Walsh, V., & Muggleton, N.G. (2012). Increased positive and disorganised schizotypy in synaesthete’s who experience colour from letters and tones. Cortex, 48, 1085-1087.

Rothen, N., Meier, B., & Ward, J. (2012). Enhanced memory ability: Insights from synaesthesia. Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, 36 (8), 1952-1963.

Rothen, N., & Terhune, D.B. (2012). Increased Resting State Network Connectivity in Synesthesia: Evidence for a Neural Basis of Synesthetic Consistency. The Journal of Neuroscience, 32 (40), 13641-13643.

Fernay, L., Reby, D., & Ward, J. (2012).  Visualised voices: A case study of audio-visual synaesthesia.  Neurocase, 18, 50-56.

Banissy, M.J., Stewart, L., Muggleton, N.G., Griffiths, T., Walsh, V., Ward, J., & Kanai, R. (2012). Grapheme-colour and tone-colour synaesthesia is associated with structural brain changes in visual regions implicated in colour, form and motion. Cognitive Neuroscience, 3, 29-35.


Amin, M., Olu-Lafe, O., Claessen, L.E., Sobczak-Edmans, M., Ward, J., Williams, A.L., Sagiv, N. (2011). Understanding grapheme personification: A social synaesthesia? Journal of Neuropsychology, 5 (2), pp. 255-282.

Banissy, M.J., Garrido, L., Kusnir, F., Duchaine, B., Walsh, V., Ward, J. (2011). Superior facial expression, but not identity recognition, in mirror-touch synaesthesia. Journal of Neuroscience, 31 (5), pp. 1820-1824.

Jewanski, J., Simner, J., Day, S.A., Ward, J. (2011). The development of a scientific understanding of synesthesia from early case studies (1849-1873). Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 20 (4), pp. 284-305.

Jonas, C.N., Taylor, A.J.G., Hutton, S., Weiss, P.H., Ward, J. (2011). Visuo-spatial representations of the alphabet in synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes. Journal of Neuropsychology, 5 (2), pp. 302-322.

Jones, C.L., Gray, M.A., Minati, L., Simner, J., Critchley, H.D., Ward, J. (2011). The neural basis of illusory gustatory sensations: Two rare cases of lexical-gustatory synaesthesia. Journal of Neuropsychology, 5 (2), pp. 243-254.

Holle, H., Banissy, M., Wright, T., Bowling, N., Ward, J. (2011). "That's not a real body": Identifying stimulus qualities that modulate synaesthetic experiences of touch. Consciousness and Cognition, 20 (3), pp. 720-726.

Nikolić, D., Jürgens, U.M., Rothen, N., Meier, B., & Mroczko, A. (2011). Swimming-style synaesthesia. Cortex, 47 (7), 874-879.

Rothen, N., Wantz, A.L., & Meier, B. (2011). Training synaesthesia. Perception, 40 (10), 1248-1250.


Rothen, N., & Meier, B. (2010). Grapheme-colour synaesthesia yields an ordinary rather than extraordinary memory advantage. Evidence from a group study. Memory, 18(3), 258-264.

Rothen, N., & Meier, B. (2010). The prevalence of synaesthesia in art students. Perception, 39(5), 718-720.

Rothen, N., Nyffeler, T., von Wartburg, R., Müri, R. & Meier, B. (2010). Parieto-occipital suppression eliminates implicit bidirectionality in grapheme-colour synaesthesia. Neuropsychologia, 48(12), 3482-3487.

Ward, J., Jonas, C., Dienes, Z., & Seth, A. (2010). Grapheme-colour synaesthesia improves detection of embedded shapes, but without pre-attentive 'pop-out' of synaesthetic colour. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 277(1684), 1021-1026.

Ward, J., & Meijer, P. (2010). Visual experiences in the blind induced by an auditory sensory substitution device. Consciousness and Cognition, 19(1), 492-500.


Banissy, M. J., Kadosh, R. C., Maus, G. W., Walsh, V., & Ward, J. (2009). Prevalence, characteristics and a neurocognitive model of mirror-touch synaesthesia. Experimental Brain Research, 198(2-3), 261-272.

Banissy, M. J., Walsh, V., & Ward, J. (2009). Enhanced sensory perception in synaesthesia. Experimental Brain Research, 196(4), 565-571.

Goller, A. I., Otten, L. J., & Ward, J. (2009). Seeing sounds and hearing colors: An event-related potential study of auditory-visual synesthesia. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 21, 1869-1881.

Jewanski, J., Day, S. A., & Ward, J. (2009). A colorful albino: The first documented case of synaesthesia, by Georg Tobias Ludwig Sachs in 1812. Journal of the History of Neurosciences, 18, 293-303.

Meier, B., & Rothen, N. (2009). Training grapheme-colour associations produces a synaesthetic Stroop effect, but not a conditioned synaesthetic response. Neuropsychologia, 47(4), 1208-1211.

Rothen, N., & Meier, B. (2009). Do synesthetes have a general advantage in visual search and episodic memory? A case for group studies. PLoS One, 4, e5037.


Simner, J., & Ward, J. (2008). Synaesthesia, color terms, and color space: Color claims came from color names in Beeli, Esslen, and Jäncke (2007). Psychological Science, 19, 412-414.

Tang, J., Ward, J., & Butterworth, B. (2008). Number forms in the brain. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 20, 1547-1556.

Ward, J. (2008). The Frog who Croaked Blue: Synesthesia and the Mixing of the Senses. London: Routledge.

Ward, J., Banissy, M. J., & Jonas, C. N. (2008). Haptic perception and synaesthesia. In M. Grunwald (Ed.), Handbook of Haptic Perception. Berlin: Springer-Verlag.

Ward, J., Moore, S., Thompson-Lake, D., Salih, S., & Beck, B. (2008). The aesthetic appeal of auditory-visual synaesthetic perceptions in people without synaesthesia. Perception, 37, 1285-1296.

Ward, J., Thompson-Lake, D., Ely, R., & Kaminski, F. (2008). Synaesthesia, creativity and art: What is the link? British Journal of Psychology, 99, 127-141.