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ERIC Number: EJ911954
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jan
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 61
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
Synesthesia and Memory: Color Congruency, Von Restorff, and False Memory Effects
Radvansky, Gabriel A.; Gibson, Bradley S.; McNerney, M. Windy
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v37 n1 p219-229 Jan 2011
In the current study, we explored the influence of synesthesia on memory for word lists. We tested 10 grapheme-color synesthetes who reported an experience of color when reading letters or words. We replicated a previous finding that memory is compromised when synesthetic color is incongruent with perceptual color. Beyond this, we found that, although their memory for word lists was superior overall, synesthetes did not exhibit typical color- or semantic-defined von Restorff isolation effects (von Restorff, 1933) compared with control participants. Moreover, our synesthetes exhibited a reduced Deese-Roediger-McDermott false memory effect (Deese, 1959; Roediger & McDermott, 1995). Taken as a whole, these findings are consistent with the idea that color-grapheme synesthesia can lead people to place a greater emphasis on item-specific processing and surface form characteristics of words in a list (e.g., the letters that make them up) relative to relational processing and more meaning-based processes. (Contains 5 tables and 3 footnotes.)
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002-4242. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A