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Synesthetic associations and psychosensory symptoms of temporal epilepsy

Authors Neckar M, Bob P

Received 31 August 2015

Accepted for publication 23 October 2015

Published 11 January 2016 Volume 2016:12 Pages 109—112


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Marcel Neckar, Petr Bob

Center for Neuropsychiatric Research of Traumatic Stress, Department of Psychiatry, First Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Background: Synesthesia manifests as unusual associative connections that may cause intriguing experiences due to various cross-modal connections, for example, a sound may be experienced as color. Several findings indicate that temporal lobe seizures or seizure-like conditions and increased excitability may influence various unusual cross-sensory links and synesthetic experiences.
Methods: In this context, the purpose of this study is to find relationships between word–color associations and psychopathological symptoms related to temporal lobe epilepsy and limbic irritability (Limbic System Checklist [LSCL-33]), symptoms of traumatic stress (Trauma Symptoms Checklist [TSC-40]), and depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory [BDI-II]) in 71 participants (mean age =25.23 years) recruited from the general population. The whole sample included two subgroups according to levels of psychosensory and affective symptoms related to temporal epilepsy measured by LSCL-33.
Results: The results in both subgroups indicate specific words correlated with the scores of psychopathological symptoms measured by LSCL-33, BDI-II, and TSC-40. Significant Spearman correlations have been predominantly found in the subgroup of participants with higher levels of LSCL-33.
Conclusion: The results indicate a specific synesthetic-like mechanism in association processes that reflects psychopathological symptoms related to increased temporo-limbic excitability.

Keywords: word associations, colors, stress, synesthesia, temporal lobe epilepsy, limbic irritability

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