Chimp study shows evidence of synaesthesia

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 07:30 in Psychology & Sociology

( -- In the never-ending struggle to understand how the human brain works, all manner of experiments are dreamed up and carried out. In one new one, for example, researchers in Japan have been testing chimps to see if they possess brain connections that cross the senses. In human terms, it’s known as synaesthesia, the phenomenon where a person associates one sensation with another; feeling colors for example or associating higher musical tones with lighter colored objects. Vera Ludwig, a German researcher, has teamed with colleagues at Kyoto University in testing chimps to see if they have such traits. In their study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the team describes how chimps did better or worse matching colored objects when a high or low noise was played.

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