Synesthesia: Implications and Applications for General Multisensory Processing
This review examines a variety of literature on synesthesia, a condition in which individuals experience sensations in one perceptual modality evoked by the stimulation of a different modality. Initially, study of synesthesia focused on testing its genuineness, but advanced research has expanded into neurological and developmental perspectives on the condition. Not only have these lines of research broadened our understanding of synesthesia, they provide an integrated view of the condition with normal multisensory processing. Furthermore, neurological and developmental evidence suggests that synesthesia and normal cross-modal processing might both be rooted in the extensively inter-sensory nature of neonatal perception. This review presents various approaches to synesthesia in relation to multisensory processing, examining the integrative applications of this relationship to research methodologies, neurological and developmental theories, and even complex cognitive phenomena like language and creativity.