Home >  Academics >  Psychology >  Psychology News > News Story

Dr. Carol Mills and her students have their research work accepted to a scientific journal

Release date: October 17, 2008

The title of the paper is: Development of Color-Grapheme Synesthesia and its Effect on Mathematical Operations.  Four former Goucher students are coauthors on the paper: Shari R. Metzger, Catherine A. Foster, Melaina N. Valentine-Gresko, and Stephanie Ricketts.

The paper describes a case study of a synesthete who sees colors when she sees or hears digits and most letters of the Roman and Hebrew alphabet.  The research showed how the colors related to the Hebrew alphabet were influenced by those to the earlier-learned Roman alphabet and hence shows the effects of learning in synesthesia.  Also the colors for auditorily-presented words were influenced by the spelling of the words.  This finding suggests that the synesthete must be spelling the words before the synesthetic responses occur.  In addition, for the synesthete, mathematical operations were slower in two studies when the colors of digits did not match the synesthete’s color for them.  Color of digits had no effect on the mathematical operations for six non-synesthetes.  This pattern of results with math problems suggests that the synesthetic colors have an impact on speed of cognitive processing.