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dc.contributor.advisorSimner, Julia
dc.contributor.advisorShillcock, Richard
dc.contributor.authorCarmichael, Duncan Andrew
dc.date.accessioned2016-05-04T10:05:50Z
dc.date.available2016-05-04T10:05:50Z
dc.date.issued2015-11-26
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/1842/15796
dc.description.abstractSynaesthesia is a hereditary, neurological condition in which common stimuli trigger unexpected secondary sensations. For example, reading letters may result in the visualisation of colour, a variant known as grapheme-colour synaesthesia. While synaesthesia is thought to confer a range of benefits such as improved memory, empathy, visual search and creativity to the synaesthete, there is a small, yet growing, body of evidence that suggests synaesthesia may also be associated with more clinical conditions. This thesis investigates potential associations between synaesthesia and a range of clinical conditions, identifying a set of cormorbidities, and exploring the possible genetic roots of these associations. First, I identified an increased prevalence of multiple sclerosis (MS) and its clinical precursor, radiologically isolated syndrome (RIS) in synaesthetes self-referring for participation in scientific studies. Furthermore, I identified an increased occurrence of anxiety disorder in randomly sampled synaesthetes. In addition, I show that synaesthetes with anxiety disorder experience reduced luminance in their synaesthetic colours. I also conducted an association study into the genetic origins of synaesthesia and propose the immune hypothesis of synaesthesia, which provides a theoretical basis for comorbidities (linked to the altered cortical connectivity thought to underlie the development of synaesthesia). Finally, in phenotyping synaesthesia in individuals, I also validated the most widely used online test for synaesthesia, and use this test to provide a reliable prevalence of grapheme-colour synaesthesia in the general population. Such baselines are important for establishing whether other (e.g., clinical) populations are showing rates of synaesthesia higher than otherwise expected. I also demonstrate there is no significant difference in grapheme-colour synaesthesia prevalence between the sexes and discuss its implications for genetic theories of synaesthesia.en
dc.contributor.sponsorEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)en
dc.language.isoenen
dc.publisherThe University of Edinburghen
dc.relation.hasversionSimner, J. and Carmichael, D.A. (2015). Is synaesthesia a dominantly female trait? Cognitive Neuroscienceen
dc.relation.hasversionCarmichael, D.A., Down, M.P., Shillcock, R.C., Eagleman, D.M. and Simner, J. (2015) Validating a standardised test battery for synesthesia: Does the Synesthesia Battery reliably detect synesthesia? Consciousness and Cognition, 33 375-385.en
dc.relation.hasversionKay, C.L., Carmichael, D.A., Ruffell, H.E., and Simner J. (2014) Colour fluctuations in grapheme-colour synaesthesia: The effect of mood. British Journal of Psychology. doi: 10.1111/bjop.12102 .en
dc.relation.hasversionSimner, J., Carmichael, D.A., Hubbard, E.M., Morris, M. and Lawrie, S.M. (2014). Rates of white matter hyperintensities compatible with the radiological profile of multiple sclerosis within self-referred synaesthete populations. Neurocase, (ahead-of-print), 1-9.en
dc.relation.hasversionCarmichael, D. A. and Simner, J. (2013). The immune hypothesis of synesthesia. Frontiers in human neuroscience, 7.en
dc.relation.hasversionAsher, J.E. and Carmichael, D.A. (2013). The genetics and inheritance of synesthesia, in Simner, J. and Hubbard, E.M. (eds) Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia, 23-45 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).en
dc.subjectsynaesthesiaen
dc.subjectcomorbidityen
dc.subjectconsistencyen
dc.subjecttestingen
dc.titleSynaesthesia and comorbidityen
dc.typeThesis or Dissertationen
dc.type.qualificationlevelDoctoralen
dc.type.qualificationnamePhD Doctor of Philosophyen


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