Synaesthesia is a truly fascinating condition. In its simplest form it is best described as a “union of the senses” whereby two or more of the five senses that are normally experienced separately are involuntarily and automatically joined together. Some synaesthetes experience colour when they hear sounds or read words. Others experience tastes, smells, shapes or touches in almost any combination. These sensations are automatic and cannot be turned on or off. Synaesthesia isn’t a disease or illness and is not at all harmful. In fact, the vast majority of synaesthetes couldn’t imagine life without it.
The UK Synaesthesia Association was originally founded by Professor Simon Baron-Cohen, Professor of Developmental Psychopathology at Cambridge University and a leading researcher into the phenomenon. Operating as a non-profit making organisation, the Association brings scientists, researchers, students and synaesthetes together and provides verifiable and reliable information regarding the condition for the media and any other interested parties. The Association has a dedicated committee made up of researchers and synaesthetes who meet regularly, and produces an entertaining and informative quarterly newsletter for its members. We also hold an annual international conference with eminent guest speakers including scientists, researchers and synaesthetes themselves. Our national and international membership base is ever-growing and of course we welcome any new members, whether they are synaesthetes or simply those with an interest in Synaesthesia.
Within this website you will find useful links to web-based discussion forums where synaesthetes and non-synaesthetes can share information and contact researchers conducting experimental investigations in order to further our understanding of synaesthesia. There are also links recounting the history of the study of synaesthesia, media articles, research papers and lots of other interesting, up-to-date information for synaesthetes, academics, researchers, scientists, artists, writers, musicians and journalists.
On behalf of the UK Synaesthesia Association, I welcome you to our website. We hope you find these resources useful and we welcome your feedback. Please send any questions, comments or recommendations to: firstname.lastname@example.org
UK Synaesthesia Association.
Professor Julia Simner - UKSA Science Officer:
TO PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH SYNAESTHESIA
I’m a professor of Psychology in the UK, and the Science Officer of the UK Synaesthesia Association, as well as the editor of The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia.
A year ago, I was able to persuade the European Research Council to give me over a million euros in science funding to better support children with synaesthesia in schools, and to provide information for the parents and teachers of children with synaesthesia.
“For most learning issues, there is a pamphlet that can be given to teachers at the beginning of the school year to help the teacher. I have been unable to find anything like this.”
I’m very happy to say that, after much work in our first year, we now have exactly this for you to use. If you click the link below, you’ll be taken to our website which provides information for parents and teachers, and ways to open a dialogue about synaesthesia. It’s a work in progress (a 4-year program in fact); but, if you follow the link to ‘parents’, you’ll find a downloadable info sheet all about synaesthesia in children. You can print it out and give it to your child’s teacher. Then the teacher her-/him-self can go to our ‘teacher page’ to find out more. And you, the parent, can even be automatically emailed when your teacher has finished reading the info!
Please let me know if you have anything else you’d like me to include.
With best wishes,
Prof. Jools Simner
Synaesthesia Research Group, University of Sussex
The aim of the meeting is to provide a forum to present and discuss the latest findings on cross-modal perception and synaesthesia. We aim to include scientific input from many different disciplines, with a variety of perspectives from molecule to mind, relating to cross-modal perception. Of particular interest is to elucidate the cross-modal processes which underpin synaesthesia, and to use synaesthesia as a model to unravel the conscious processes that are triggered by cross-talk between the senses.
We are pleased to host this meeting in Trinity College Dublin. Founded in 1592, Trinity is Ireland’s top ranked university. As many of you will be aware, George Berkeley is a former Fellow of Trinity College and whilst he was here he penned his famous essay entitled ‘A new theory of vision’, the contents of which are still relevant to current research on cross-modal processes. The College itself is also ideally situated in the centre of Ireland’s vibrant capital city. The city of Dublin has a long history of being the world-leading venue for significant cultural and scientific events.