Researchers at The Australian National University (ANU) have shed new light on synesthesia -- the effect of hearing colour, seeing sounds and other cross-sensory phenomena.
Lead Researcher, ANU Research School of Psychology's Dr Stephanie Goodhew, said the research found synesthetes had much stronger mental associations between related concepts.
"For them words like 'doctor' and 'nurse' are very closely associated, where 'doctor' and 'table' are much unrelated. Much more so than for people without the condition," she said.
The findings could help researchers better understand the mysteries of synesthesia, which Dr Goodhew said affects an estimated one in every 100 people.
Dr Goodhew said synesthetes have stronger connections between different brain areas, particularly between what we think of as the language part of the brain and the colour part of the brain. Those connections lead to a triggering effect, where a stimulus in one part of the brain would cause activity in another