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Creativity and involvement in art in different types of synaesthesia

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Lunke Katrin, Meier Beat,
Project Specificity and longevity of memory advantages in synaesthesia
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal British Journal of Psychology
Page(s) 727 - 744
Title of proceedings British Journal of Psychology
DOI 10.1111/bjop.12363

Open Access

Type of Open Access Publisher (Gold Open Access)


The aim of the present study was to test the relationship between different types of synaesthesia and their involvement in art, creative and visual abilities. We tested 20 grapheme-colour, 18 sound-colour, 19 grapheme-colour-and-sound-colour and 20 sequence-space synaesthetes and the same number of controls matched by age, gender and education. We assessed the number of artistic professions, involvement in art and the performance in psychometric tests of divergent and convergent creativity, as well as visual and visuo-spatial abilities. Results show a higher prevalence of artists amongst synaesthetes, especially sound-colour synaesthetes. Sound-colour synaesthetes also showed a higher involvement in artistic activities overall while sequence-space synaesthetes showed higher involvement in visual art. Only grapheme-colour-and-sound-colour synaesthetes showed significantly higher divergent creativity compared to matched controls. Additionally overall, synaesthetes scored higher in visuo-spatial abilities (i.e. mental rotation). For synaesthetes and controls visuo-spatial abilities correlated with divergent creativity. We discuss that synaesthetes’ higher involvement in art is not necessarily reflected in their basic creative abilities.