Exploring the link between synesthesia, savant syndrome and autism may advance our understanding of cognitive talent and lead to a cure.

Recent Work

Our lab has contributed to academic discussions on the topics of synesthesia, savant syndrome and perception. Check out some of our recent publications and media appearances.

Feature in St. Louis Magazine

<p>Feature in St. Louis Magazine</p>

Interview with Popular Science

<p>Interview in Popular Science</p>

Interview on NPR.

<p>Recent NPR Interview</p>

About Us

We are a group of researchers in Miami with collaborators in Denmark, Finland, Houston, London and Vancouver. Our research seeks to understand the connection between the three related neurological conditions of synesthesia, savant syndrome and autism. Synesthesia involves a mixing of the senses—stimulation in one sensory or cognitive stream involuntarily, or automatically, leads to associated internal or external (illusory or hallucinatory) experiences in a second unstimulated sensory or cognitive system. Savant syndrome is a condition whereby an individual gains abnormal skills limited to one particular domain. Autism is a disorder that involves deficits in social interaction and communication. Although an individual may have only one of these conditions, many savants are synesthetes and exhibit autistic traits. Likewise, savantism is highly prevalent among autists. We believe that exploring the link between synesthesia, savant syndrome and autism may advance our understanding of cognitive talent and lead to a cure.

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Most Recent Thoughts

July 23, 2013 |

Feature in St. Louis Magazine

Feature in St. Louis Magazine

May 3, 2013 |

Sloppy Psychology and Zero Tolerance Policies

Zero tolerance policies are purported to make our schools safer. But they simply aren’t effective. Let’s stop extorting innocent children in the name of deterrence. read...

April 30, 2013 |

An Unusual Case of Synesthesia

In a 1913 article in the The Journal of Abnormal Psychology, Isador Coriat describes a case of “colored pain,” which is still considered a rare form of synesthesia. These synesthetes perceive colors as they experience pain. Coriat’s subject is an intelligent forty-year-old woman suffering from anxiety, sleepwalking and headaches. As far back as she can remember she’s seen different colors when she feels pain. Pain produces clear, distinct colors and a certain “kind of pain” consistently produces a certain color. “Each type of pain produced its individual and invariable color, for instance: Hollow pain, blue color; sore pain, red color; deep headache, vivid scarlet; superficial headache, white color; shooting neuralgic pain, white color.” The woman...

April 26, 2013 |

Struck By Lightning

Lightning results from a negative charge in the clouds that causes the ground to become positively charged, pulling the electrons toward it at a great force. When struck by lightning, people usually either die or suffer long-term negative consequences. However, in rare cases being struck by lightning can unlock the genius within. read...

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Are you a synesthete living in Miami? Take part in one of our current studies!I'm down!