Also, alternative classifications of synesthesia have
been proposed, for example, using the self-reported localization of the concurrent perception (Dixon et al., 2004): so called ‘associators’ perceive the synesthetic sensations in their ‘mind’s eye’, whereas ‘projectors’ see synesthetic concurrents ‘outside’, for example, on the page where the inducing letter is printed. These different groups INCB024360 in vitro may well have at least partially different processes underlying their experience and should be considered separately in future studies. The current study used only complex speech-related stimuli which may engage top-down attentional processes to a greater extent than more basic stimuli. Thus, experiments with more basic stimuli could be helpful to investigate the hyperconnectivity/hyperbinding hypothesis of synesthesia. An initial effort in this direction has been made by Brang, Williams, and Ramachandran (2011)
who used simple auditory (sine tones) and visual (light points) stimulation to investigate the double-flash illusion (Shams, Kamitani, & Shimojo, 2000) in a rather small sample (n = 7). Synesthetes reported more illusionary flashes than control subjects from which the authors inferred that synesthesia is related Bcl-2 inhibitor to hyperbinding between the sensory modalities. Recently, Neufeld et al. (2012) used the same illusion in 18 synesthesia subjects. In contrast with Brang et al. (2012), a reduced number of illusions and additionally a reduced time window of the illusory double flash was revealed in synesthetes. Whether these differences can be explained by differences in the location of the synesthetic percept remains to be seen. The reduced multisensory integration of synesthetes
in this study may be explained alternatively by the increased processing effort related to increased information load induced by the synesthetic concurrent percept. Thus, the weaker performance of our synesthesia subjects Y-27632 2HCl might have been due to the fact that they had to integrate three sensory qualia instead of two (as the control subjects). Against this explanation speaks the fact that only few of our subjects reported synesthetic concurrents induced by heard voices (only three subjects in the Mc Gurk experiment and only four subjects in the speech perception experiment). To test this hypothesis we conducted the analysis again after removing the affected synesthesia subjects with no considerable changes in the result. The reduced multisensory integration of synesthetes might directly derive from their special ability. Synesthetes usually report that they have no trouble in identifying synesthetic and real parts of their perception. To keep track of which perception is synesthetic and which is ‘real’ (i.e., stimulated from the outer world), synesthetes have to separate the senses and to perform a ‘reality check’.