Advance VI International Congress Synesthesia, Science & Art.


18-22 may 2018

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Synesthesias as sensory modalities. Andrea Togni FINO Consortium Italy

Area of the contribution: 5 (Perception, creativity and synesthesia)

ABSTRACT In this paper, I deal with synesthesias from the point of view of the philosophical debate about the criteria to distinguish and classify the sensory modalities. According to the experiential criterion, each sense is to be distinguished from the others in virtue of its peculiar phenomenal character. Albeit this criterion is well-suited to categorize both synesthetic and common perceptions, I argue that its traditional versions are inadequate, mainly because they rely on simple, atomic and strictly perceptual “qualia”, which don't meet the favor of the philosophical community. My proposal consists in reshaping the experiential criterion and in splitting it in two interdependent parts: 1) According to the experiential-ontological criterion, each sensory modality is associated with a peculiar perceptual reality; 2) According to the subtractive criterion, sensory modalities are characterized by two kinds of switching-off: A) If a perceiver never experienced in a sensory modality, that sensory modality is “totally switched-off”; B) It may be the case that a sensory modality incurs a “temporary switching-off”. For example, when we close our eyes, a particular kind of experience temporarily dies out. Temporary switching-ons and switching-offs follow phenomenologically reliable patterns. I submit that synesthetic experiences can be classified in the catalogue of the senses using the two criteria just mentioned. In doing so, I make extensive use of synesthetes' reports. Given that each synesthetic experience can be associated with a peculiar perceptual reality, and given that each synesthetic reality can be both totally and temporarily switched-off, I conclude that each synesthetic combination should be classified in the catalogue of the senses under an independent label. That is, each kind of synesthesia individuates an autonomous sensory modality.

Keywords: synesthesias; sensory modalities; experiential-ontological criterion; subtractive criterion.

Brief biography I got a BA in philosophy in 2011 and a MA in philosophical sciences in 2013, both from the State University of Milan. Since 2014, I have been a PhD student in philosophy, curriculum “mind, language, and cognition”, at the FINO Consortium. My dissertation is about the criteria to define and classify the senses. From January to June 2016, I was a visiting fellow at the Institute of Philosophy, University of London. From January to June 2017, I was a visiting student at the Centre for the Study of Perceptual Experience (CSPE), University of Glasgow. In 2015, I got the qualification to teach history and philosophy in secondary schools from the State University of Milan. In 2016, I won a public competition, and, therefore, a permanent job as a history and philosophy teacher in secondary schools. In 2014 and 2015, I hold two brief philosophical courses (20 hours each) at the State University of Milan.

Design and synesthesia Hugo Meier-Thur – Synesthesia and Life in Black and White

Dr. Michael Haverkamp Institution Germany

Area of the contribution: 8. Gráfica, diseño y sinestesia / Graphics,

ABSTRACT Hugo Meier-Thur (1881-1943) was an artist who focused on expressionistic graphic art and typography. He worked as a Professor at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste, Hamburg. He crafted an impressive series of synesthetic images and musical graphics during the 1920s. The original graphics are lost, but those which are available as part of publications are preserved and worthy of a detailed analysis. From 1910 until 1943 Hugo Meier-Thur teached graphics and typography at the Kunstgewerbeschule Hamburg (today: Hochschule für Bildende Künste HFBK, 1933-45: Hansische Hochschule für bildende Künste). In 1927 he was appointed to a professorship. He was killed in 1943 as a political prisoner. Meier-Thur's graphic work is inspired by synesthetic perception of music and sounds. In 1927, he attended the first congress of “color-tone research” (“Farbe-Ton-Forschung”) in Hamburg. This congress included a large exhibition of drawings of synesthetic experience and musical graphics. Hugo Meier-Thur contributed to this exhibition with a variety of graphic works. A number of works survived the war as part of two publications. Even today, the early congresses on “color-tone research” are interesting when considering the fact that they are rather similar to recent conferences on synesthesia and the arts, within which it is intended to combine/unify science, fine arts and music. Meier-Thur's artwork focuses on print media and typography. For that reason, his synesthetic artworks are all realized in black and white. This unorthodox style of synesthetic imagination is of special interest, because it provokes analysis to be focused on visual forms. Furthermore, his perception of sound has been investigated with great detail. The anthology related to the first congress includes 23 pages of documentation. This extent was quite exceptional during the time of publication. Most of Meier-Thur's graphics are explicitly related to specific sounds and musical compositions. This offers the opportunity to present main works in combination with musical examples. The music is replayed during the presentation of the images. Additionally, rare material is analyzed to provide a full view on the work and life of Hugo Meier-Thur.

Keywords: Synesthesia, Graphic Art, Musical Graphics, Art History

Brief biography Michael Haverkamp Works as an expert on cross-sensory product harmonization at Ford Development Centre, Cologne, Germany. Born 1958 in Gütersloh, Bundesrepublik Deutschland, he focused on technical and psychological acoustics during studies of electrical engineering at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. His PhD thesis addressed physiological influences and perceptions of vibration (Medical Department, University of Mainz). Long term experience in product development, acoustics engineering and multi-sensory design. Studies of cross-modal perception, design, the arts and music. Previous teaching assignments and invited lectures at various universities (e.g. Köln International School of Design KISD). Numerous publications and presentations on sound engineering, perception, audio branding, multi-sensory design and synesthesia (amongst many others at conferences on synesthesia and multi-sensory perception in Spain, Ireland, Russia, China and Germany). He is also involved in arts projects and performances of improvised music.


Synaesthesia Expression, Inner Music Characters in Painting- Ninghui XIONG Airbus (China) Enterprise Management and Services Co. Ltd. P.R.China Beijing, P.R. China

Area of the contribution: 7

ABSTRACT: As an opposite process of music synaesthesia visualization in art (Xiong et la., 2015), similarly, the true work of visual art is not a pure object displayed in plane or space. It is a combination of synaesthesia of synthetic senses and emotion, which generates a kind of “inner music”: tempo, rhythm, melody, timbre, tonality, dynamics, musical texture, etc. This is the process of visual art in inner music. In the paper, the author summarized inner music expression elements and compositions to highlights its functions in emotion and synaesthesia including some Chinese culture codes. As a painting inner music development methodology, the author proposed “Da Vinci Device + Composition through Synesthesia in Music”, a tool to enrich abstract painting content with case study and possible application. In the paper, inner music character in Chinese calligraphy, as well as in iconography of ancient instrument have been studied.

Keywords: Inner Music, Synesthesia Expression, De Vinci Device, Abstract Art, Painting Composition

Brief biography Ninghui Xiong: is an artist and synesthete. He is the founder of the Chinese Synaesthesia Alliance, a committee member of the China Society for Musical Iconology, and the Chinese delegate to the Artecitta Foundation in Spain. He was born in Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China. Music has been the driving force of his painting since 2006. His use of his synaesthesia in combining music and painting plays an important role during his painting process. He has also done an extensive study of the synaesthetic relationship between painting and music. Since 2009, he has given a series of lectures and exhibitions in schools, universities, museums, and theaters all across China. In addition, he has presented in numerous international conferences. In Airbus China, he leads the Creative Thinking Pilot Project which is related to their synaesthetic/cross sensory practice training program.

Abstract films and their correlation to music. Artistic experiments with synaesthesia at the Prometheus-Institute in Kazan', Russia. Rustem Sakhabiev1 , Jörg Jewanski2 1 Musikhochschule, University of Münster, Germany & Kazan', Russia 2 Musikhochschule, University of Münster, Germany

Areas: 5, 7, 10

Abstract: The city of Kazan' is located 800 km east of Moscow. As a part of the Technical University, since 1962, a research institute named Prometheus exists (the name is taken from Scriabin's composition of the same name for music and light), in which, under the umbrella term synesthesia, the inter-relations between the arts are investigated. Previously, ca. 20 scientists and engineers worked there under the direction of Bulat Galeev (1940-2009). Under his guidance, synesthesia in music, visual arts, literature, abstract film, architecture and pedagogy was investigated. Up to today, 18 conferences were conducted at the Prometheus-Institute (since 2010 under the guidance of Anastasia Maksimova) – the longest series of synesthesia conferences worldwide –, each devoted to a special topic and each with a conference proceedings. At the last conference in Alcalá la Real, in 2015, we gave an overview of the activities of the institute. This time, we concentrate on the abstract films. Between 1964 and 1993, Galeev directed 16 short abstract films with lengths of from two to nine minutes. These films are totally unknown in the West and remain unpublished, while Galeev was aware of abstract films from the West (e.g., Fischinger, Ruttmann, McLaren). In our presentation, we give an overview of these films, analyze their correlation to music, and concentrate on the longest one: The Small Tryptich (1975), after the music of the famous Soviet composer Georgij Sviridov.

Address correspondence:


Synaesthesia: the development of its terminology . J örg Jewanski1 , Julia Simner2 , Sean A. Day3 , Nicolas Rothen4 , Jamie Ward2 1 Department Musikhochschule, University of Münster, Germany 2 School of Psychology, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK 3 Department of English and Journalism, Trident Technical College, Charleston, South Carolina, US 4 Institute of Psychology, University of Bern, CH

Areas: 4 and History

Abstract: The condition we today name synaesthesia, an involuntary phenomenon, in which a small percentage of the population reports extraordinary additional sensations triggered by reading, listening to music, eating and so on, had different names since its first appearance in 1812 by Georg Tobias Ludwig Sachs. There was a long process of the development of its name, which derived from the theories of its origin and from the character of the known cases. In 1812 it was named „coloured idea“, in 1813 „coloured appearance“, in 1848 „hyperchromatopsia (perception of too many colours)“, and so on. Yet since 1892, the term synaesthesia in our modern meaning came in use. What makes the development complicated, are two things: first, the term synaesthesia was still introduced in 1866 by Alfred Vulpian, but meant something different; and second, especially around 1890, the term coloured hearing was also used as a synonym for synaesthesia. This presentation tries to unscramble the history of the name for the condition we today name synaesthesia.

Address correspondence:

Floating Instruments Playing Themselves in Dunhuang Fresco. Li ZHONG. Northwest University for Nationalities Lanzhou, Gansu Province, 730030, P.R. China

Area of the contribution: 10

ABSTRACT: This article focuses on one particular phenomenon that is found in Dunhuang fresco evolved from Buddhist scripture, where musical instruments float in the air and are supposed to be making sounds, through illustrated books and documents. By meticulously scrutinizing main factors such as the location, configuration, function and contents of the instruments in the frescoes in different dynasties, this article reveals the logical concepts and cultural connotation that lie behind those frescoes where the particular phenomenon takes place. And by making connections between the musical instruments and the fresco and associations between the fresco and the Buddhist texts, this article also attempts to recreate and rediscover the acoustic beauty of the land of Buddha.

Keywords: Floating instruments playing themselves, Cultural significance, Acoustic world

Brief biography Li ZHONG, Han Nationality, Vice Professor, Conservatory of Music, Northwest University for Nationalities

"Portrayals of synesthete-characters in Recent Fiction" . Patricia L. Duffy.

United Nations Language and Communications Programme USA

Area of the contribution: 4: Linguistic and Literary


The paper will describe portrayals of synesthete-characters in recent works of fiction (including The Sparrow by Jason Matthews and Forest of Wonders by Linda Sue Park). The recent lportrayals will be discussed in terms of the four categories of literary depiction,(“Synesthesia as Pathology”, “Synesthesia as Romantic Patholgy” , “Synesthesia as Romantic ideal”, “Synesthesia as Romantic Pathology”, and “Synesthesia as Accepted Anomaly”) as outlined in Duffy's chapter, “Synesthesia and Literature” in the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia (Oxford University Press 2013). The paper will address the question, “With which categories of depiction are the recent portrayals of synesthete characters most closely aligned and why?”.As more research is done in more knowledge gained in the field of synaesthesia, do we expect certain types of literary depictions to become more or less prevalent?

Brief biography

Patricia Lynne Duffy is the author of Blue Cats and Chartreuse Kittens: how synesthetes color their worlds, published by Henry Holt & company, 2001), the first book by a synesthete about synesthesia. A chapter of her book titled, “Drawing Colored Words for My Father” was chosen as the lead piece for the “Writers Corner”, web site (“Writers Corner”). of the United Nations Society of Writers

In addition, Duffy contributed a chapter, “Synesthesia and Literature” to the Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia , published by Oxford University Press in 2013. With the artist, Carol Steen, Duffy is the co-founder of the American Synesthesia Association and has presented on her own experience of synesthesia as well as on the theme of synesthete-characters in fiction at a number of conferences, including University of Texas at Houston, University of Hanover, Vanderbilt University, the University of Miami, and Artecitta.

She has been interviewed about her experience and research into synesthesia by publications including the New York Times, National Public Radio, and the Discovery Channel, Canada.

Synaesthesia in evolutionary perspective. Sean A Day. Department of English and Journalism, Trident Technical College, Charleston, South Carolina,

.1.- Neurociencia y cognición / Neuroscience and cognition

Abstract: In my talk at the previous congress, in 2015, I mentioned that synaesthesia research tends to focus on less than 10% of all types of synaesthesia. I now wish to explore a few ideas regarding this further by looking at different aspects of synaesthesia on a global basis, through time. This could include looking at the prospect of synaesthesia in allo-animals, including speculations regarding other species of humans. I also raise questions concerning investigating synaesthesia in other cultures around the world, and considerations regarding the possibilities of various types of synaesthesia in past cultures. As examples: Theoretically, how far back into the past could we find a case of language-based synaesthesia; and in what kinds of setting? What about music-based synaesthesia? Why do we need to discern between the concept of “grapheme-based” synaesthesia and “colored letters and numbers”?

Author keywords: evolution, time, Umwelten, cultures history

SynBody Scores. Visual representations from: body movement, music composition using a wearable computing garment as an hyperinstrument. Javier Aparicio. Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Spain.

10. Música y sinestesia / Music and synesthesia, 7. Artística / Artistic, 8. Gráfica, diseño y sinestesia / Graphics, Design and synesthesia, 9. Nuevas tecnologías y sinestesia / New Technologies and synesthesia

Abstract: Dissolving boundaries between artistic disciplines and ending of visual arts dominance are probably the most relevant features of avant-gardes (Rush, 2002), still remaining nowadays. On the other hand, borders between art and science has been turned over and becoming a hallmark in contemporary practice (Alsina, 1998). 

In this context, art production can be understood as an ensemble of languages: (artistic disliplines, areas of knowledge…) behaving like a synesthesics appoaches to human activities. 

SynBody project, pursues represent the sound of body movement. A wearable computing was designed to convert different phisical behaviours, like: possition, tilt, contact, actions and gestures into musical language backgrounds through some types of sensors. 

This procces followed a previous research called: Managing Complexity between Real-Time Music Composition and Body Events in a Synesthetic Dance Performance through Wearable Computing (2016) where: 

• descibed relations between musical language, body movement, and digital technologies as phisical computing, 
• gave place to set up, levels of complexity to design a garment to convert body movement into music. 
• relate sound properties to sensors features. 
• systematize own body movement into a original music composition based in last contemporary dance pieces. 

At this time started to develope a first level of complexity control system based in a linear connection between sensors and sound. The music was composed previously giving some background to each part of the body, and depending on body´s movement, sound properties changes in real time. 

Later, was designed another pattern of interaction, based in a non linear control system, where a sensor can control various sensors, and the possibilities of interaction can be represented as a map. 

The visual representation considered different aspects: 

• body movement related to music composition and digital sound processing 
• sharing concepts and creative languages between: dance and music 
• Understand complexity where can be selected a series of parameters from multiple possibilities, to create a device that could be used like a research tool and creative device for collaborative work between: musicians, dancers and choreographers. 

Lev Vygotsky and Solomon Shereshevsky. Synaesthesia/eideticism and culture influence: history and perspectives in consciousness study. Anton V. Sidoroff-Dorso . Moscow Pedagogical State University. Russia


Besides other facts, Solomon Shereshevsky's diary ( Mnemonist's Notes as he called it) contains first person reflections on his participation in Lev Vygotsky's psychological tests. Published works, drafts and diaries of Lev Vygotsky himself complement these records from a more structured, scientific perspective.

Therefore, we can reconstruct, to some degree, why Shereshevsky's case was considered “a real diamond in need of refinement” by L.Vygotsky for his theory of societal, culture-dependent exposure and its formative aspects for consciousness, which he failed to complete because of his untimely death. Shereshevsky, in this view, was placed among other heuristically significant cases: a child, a schizophrenic, and Velimir Khlebnikov, an experimental and influential Russian poet.

Based on the original sources – primarily L.Vygotsky's and S.Shereshevsky's notes and diaries – my talk will analyse and develop the Soviet psychologist's ideas on the perspectives of eidetic memory and synaesthesia for consciousness study.

Keywords: Vygotsky, Shereshevsky, eideticism, synaesthesia, consciousness

Brief biography

Anton V. Sidoroff-Dorso, a linguist and psychologist, received a post-graduation degree in psychology at Moscow Pedagogical State University, with a dissertation on individual differences in people with synaesthesia. Research focus on psychological and neurocognitive aspects of synaesthetic mechanisms in cultural-historical psychology; co-author of “ A nanthropology of synaesthesia” . Author of Synaesthesia Quotient and and developer of the SynQ multi-scale battery. Manages the data-base of Russian-speaking synaesthetes (now approx. 800 people). Translated and adapted the Russian-language version of the worldwide online synaesthesia test of the Eagleman Lab (Baylor College of Medicine) and the Consistency Test of Synaesthesia. Founder and science monitor of (Russian synaesthesia community). Science coucilor and spokesman in several documentaries on the senses and synaesthesia. Gave teleconference talks on the topic of synaesthesia in Ukraine, India and Spain.

Listening to Visual Forms - an exercise of proportions using a Pythagorean monocord. Name Edson Takayuki Tani
Institution UNINOVE - Universidade Nove de Julho
. Brasil
This research seeks to find a relationship between music and visual forms. In this work it is possible to hear, for example, the musical scale Hirajoshi, typical of Japanese traditional music in a photograph of an Ikebana (typically Japanese floral arrangement) (see fig.1). Another example: the notes Sol, Si and Re, of G major chord were found on the Music Garden in
Toronto, designed by Julie Moir Messervy together with the musician Yo-yo Ma (see fig. 2). Or yet, the F major chord (Fa, La and Do, chord formed from the Golden Ratio) in the Le Corbusier’s Modulor (see fig.3), confirming Fançois-Xavier Chaboche who stated that:
"Some researchers have seen numerical relationships in the proportions of the human body corresponding to musical chords. Thus, the distance from the heel to the basin, from the basin to the shoulder blade, from the shoulder blade to the skull, correspond to the interval of sixth and interval of fourth in music: Do, Fa, La, Do" (Chaboche, 1979).
The research began from the study of the harmonics of musical notes generated by playing a string, reproducing the ancient Pythagorean monocord. The generation of the octave dividing the string in half; or obtaining the interval of fifth by dividing into three parts (1/3 and 2/3); or the interval of third major in the 4/5 ratio, and so on (MCCLAIN, 1984).

Research method Inspired by the Pythagorean monocord an instrument was built for this research to demonstrate
the sound of the mathematical ratios found in the images. The instrument has 6 strings tuned in the same note and movable frets that can be adjusted in the different positions, as defined by the analyzed images (see fig. 4).
Points that are visually fundamental, such as corners or vertices, heights or distances of focal points, etc. were marked in the analyzed images. These distances were transferred to the Pythagorean monocord so that one can hear the relationship of the musical notes obtained.
There are also examples of typical bossa-nova chords in a building designed by Oscar Niemeyer in the sixties; or even Blues Scale found in country landscape photography, among others, proving that there is a strong relationship between the harmony of the visual forms with the chords and the musical scales.

Music; Forms; Proportion; Harmonics; Pythagorean monochord
Brief biography
PLATÃO; Timeu e Crítias ou Atlântida; Edipro, São Paulo, 2012
LAWLOR, Robert; Sacred Geometry; Thames and Hudson, London, 1995
CHABOCHE, François-Xavier; Vida e mistério dos números; Hemus editora, 1979.
D´ALVEYDRE, Saint-Yves; El Arqueometro; Luis Cárcamo, Editor, Madrid, 2ª ed., 1ª imp., 2006.

GODWIN, Joscelyn; The Harmony of the Spheres – A Sourcebook of the Pythagorean Tradition in Music; Inner Traditions International Rochestres, Vermont, 1990
MCCLAIN, Ernest G.; The Pythagorean Plato; Nicolas-Hays, Inc. York Beach, Maine; 1984
MCCLAIN, Ernest G.; The Myth of Invariance; Nicolas-Hays, Inc. York Beach, Maine; 1984
ELAM, Kimberly; Geometry of Design; Princeton Architectural Press, New York, 2001
GHYKA, Matila C.; El número de Oro; Editorial Poseidon, Barcelona, 1978

Synaesthetic and Haptic Experiences in Didactic Activities for Students of Design. An International Framework
Yuan Liu, Daniela Anna Calabi, Dina Riccò
Politecnico di Milano
Area of the contribution: 6 and 8

This paper intends to underline the important roles that synaesthesia played in education, especially in the field of educating designers, continuing the studies conducted on the theme at the Politecnico di Milano (in particular see: Riccò, 1999; Calabi, 2003).
It provides guidance for training designers’ basic skills, such as using their senses to engage in design activities, it also helps them to understand the connection between culture and design activities, dig deeper level of human relations. This paper aims at summarising synaesthesia didactic activities all over Europe (start from undergraduate) – compared with some specific experiences in China (Xiong, Ding, Long, 2015) – through the analysis of educational direction, course content and purpose from the curriculum, sum up education methods and broad frameworks. Case study and qualitative research have been used for the analysis of the curriculum, through the studying of different courses aimed at different teaching achievements, in order to compare their Similarities and differences, summarize their research trends, and make a vision for the future development of synaesthesia design education.
The results will be visualized by graphs, the paper will also put forward the possible development trend of synaesthesia education, make assumptions to its’ future development directions.

Keywords: Synesthesia Design, Basic Design, Didactic Experience, Design Education
Selected References
G. Anceschi, M. Botta e A.M. Garito (a cura di), "Laboratorio di Basic Design", in L'ambiente dell'apprendimento: Web design e processi cognitivi, Editore: McGraw-Hill, Milano, 2006 (pp. 55-118).
Baule, Giovanni; Caratti, Elena (edited by), Design is translation. The translation paradigm for design culture, Milano, Franco Angeli, 2017.
Calabi, Daniela; Texture design. Un percorso basic, Libreria Clup, Milano, 2003.
De Cordoba, Maria José; “Synaesthesia: the basis for creative holistic thinking”, in M. Josè De Cordoba, Dina Riccò, Sean Day (et al.), Synaesthesia: Theoretical, artistic and scientific foundations, Granada, Spain, 2014, pp. 334-350.
Riccò, Dina; Sinestesie per il design. Le interazioni sensoriali nell’epoca dei multimedia, Etas, Milano, 1999.
Riccò, Dina; Sentire il design. Sinestesie nel progetto di comunicazione, Carocci, Roma, 2008.
Riccò, Dina; “Synaesthetic design: designing for the senses”, in M. Josè De Cordoba, Dina Riccò, Sean Day (et al.), Synaesthesia: Theoretical, artistic and scientific foundations, Granada, Spain, 2014, pp. 246- 264.
Xiong, Ninghui; Ding, Tongjun; Long, Long; “Synthetic senses synaesthesia and its role in art development. A study of music visualization”, in M. José De Córdoba Serrano, Sean A. Day, Julia López de la Torre, Dina Riccò, Joerg Jewansky (curadores), Actas V Congreso Internacional de Sinestesia: Ciencia y Arte, Instituto de Estudio Giennenses, Diputación Provincial de Jaén, España, 2015, pp. 125-136.

Yuan Liu
She is a Ph.D. student in Politecnico di Milano (Design Department, Advisor teachers: Dina Riccò and Daniela Anna Calabi), major in communication design, committed to the study of synaesthesia design education, especially for higher education.
Daniela Anna Calabi
She is a Associate Professor at Department of Design, Politecnico di Milano. Degree in Architecture, Master in Multimedia Communication, since 1993 she worked in design and architecture. Since 1998 has become teaching at Politecnico di Milano, Faculty of Design and Faculty of Architecture.
Currently her main researches focus on perception and communication design and she works with DCxT (Communication Design for Territory) of Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design.
Among her meaningful publications: Texture design: un percorso Basic (Clup, Milano. 2003); Chromatic textures. A story of basic design (in COLORE, vol. 62. 2009); Texture and text. A translation process (in Design is translation. The translation paradigm for design culture, Franco Angeli, 2017).
Dina Riccò
Degree in Architecture, Ph.D. in Industrial Design. She is Associate professor at Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, where she has been teaching (since 1996) visual perception and communication. She participates (from 2007) in organising the international conference Synaesthesia: Science & Art, promoted by the Artecittà Foundation with the University of Granada and Politecnico di Milano; she is also director of the parallel event MuVi. Video and moving image on synesthesia and visual music.
Among her most meaningful publications: the books libri Sinestesie per il design (Etas, Milano, 1999), Sentire il design (Carocci, Roma, 2008), the book (with M. J. de Córdoba, et al.) Sinestesia. Los fundamentos teóricos, artísticos y científicos, Ediciones Fundación Internacional Artecittà, Granada, 2012 (English Ed. 2014).
She has written more than 80 essays in books, in Journals and conference proceedings. She is the promoter and scientific responsible of the web site

(1st draft)
Sérgio R. Basbaum
Dept. of Computation
Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo - PUC-SP

In 2010, I spent a year in post-doc research work supervised by Prof. Dr. Alfredo Pereira Jr., a leading Brazilian researcher in Consciousness studies. This resulted in an empirical work article about verbal descriptions of ambiguous images (Basbaum et al, 2012) and a lengthy research report with the grounds for a personal approach to the relations between perception and language, based on Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception and several other references - from the neurobiology of Maturana and Varela to the philosophy of Vilém Flusser and the anthropology of the senses of Classen and Howes. Presented in the 2011 “Towards a science of consciousness” in Sweden, but still unpublished, this report turned out, however, to be a cornerstone to more than two decades of research work I’ve been doing about the senses.
In 2015, when asked to teach classes on the “fundamentals of body communication”, in a body arts undergraduate course (theatre, dance, performance students) in Brazil, it became the basis of a methodology to discuss and organize the relations between body, perception, gesture, language and sense. Departing from Merleau-Ponty’s understanding of perception, contemporary works on synesthesia by Marks, Hubbard and others, and Horst Huthroff’s semantics of the body, the students were asked to develop works in which synesthetic correspondences between abstract graphemes, colors, and pseudo-words (in the “kikibouba” style) become predicates to gain insight and understanding on a broader meaning of body gestures.
Through collaboration with choreographer and dancer Camila Venturelli, in 2016, this approach has been refined and applied to other groups of students in undergraduate and post-graduate level, turning into a seed for an original and revealing methodology for body and sense understanding and self-discovery, which combines senses and language in a new frame.

Experience testing the new protype being a touch to sound synesthete. Lidell Simpson. USA

I am a polymodal synesthete with sensorioneural deafness. My dominant form of synesthesia is Vision to Sound along with touch, taste, smell, and emotion to sound.  My discussion will be how my synesthesia evolved and manifested itself in early childhood before and after I was fitted with hearing aids just before I was five years of age.  David Eagleman's company NEOSENSORY developed a wearable vest as a sensory substition device to aid the deaf through translation of sounds into vibrations.  Since then NEOSENSORY developed a new device called "BUZZ" as a wearable wrist band.  I will report on my experience testing the new protype being a touch to sound synesthete.


Synesthesia and synesthosis. Change, creativity and healing
Gloria Bova
Independent researcher of Eukos society
Italia -
I present the results of an independent psychotherapy research. The cases hereby treated relate to: alcohol addiction, depression, bipolar and borderline personality disorders, schizophrenia and mood disorders. The research concludes with the proposal for a review of the synesthesic nomenclature based on its immutability throughout time. Synesthosis is the proposed name to indicate perceptive phenomena that do not change throughout time, leaving the name Synesthesia to designate those sensory abilities that can be lost and regained and that are connected to the mental state of the person. Research has shown the importance to differentiate between Neurological Synesthesia or Synesthosis (NS) and Sensitive Synesthesia (SS). Being myself SS, I used this sensory capacity in my psychotherapy practice. The SS allowed me to invent the Therapeutic Graph Protocols (TGP) which can be used to induce SS in patient. The research results in synthesis:
SS and SN both have a neurological basis, but while SS is tied to a state of consciousness, NS is not. Both SS and NS are present since birth. The SS can be lost by simply growing up (in the impact against affective world of adults), while NS not. It is possible to retrieve the SS through a spontaneous recovery or through a recovery induced by an innovative therapeutic system: the ScInte Method™. The SS can be induced through a personal work conscious of the state of self-consciousness. During psychotherapy, the patient gradually becomes the master of modulation from this State of Split Consciousness to his State of Integrated Consciousness. Throughout integrated connection exercises and meditation of Scinte Method™, patient can voluntarily modulate his state of consciousness and therefore modify his electrical brain activity. Through an integrated psychotherapist, patient may unknowingly change his state of consciousness, through the phenomenon of neuronal resonance connection. The NS can only be induced by specific electromagnetic induction.
The SS can also be induced by psychotherapeutic techniques based on multisensoriality. The TPG cause a Synesthesic Insight (somatosensorial) that induces SS. Working on the rebalancing of the split and the recovery of integration, and therefore the awakening of SS, speeds up the therapeutic change and the give up of the symptoms, as well as the healing of the patient and his opening to creativity and joy. Most of the artists are SS. The hypothesis is that in the creative act te artist enters spontaneously an integrated connection and expresses himself through the SS, despite the split of his Survival Kit (personality structure).
My long presentation will be accompanied by video materials of my photographic project metaphorically portraing
the ability of NS and SS to see beyond, to see all what the others persons do not see.

Keywords: psychotherapy, Insight, consciousness, integration, creativity
Brief biography
Psychologist and Psychotherapist. Former, supervisor, management supporter. Founder and director of the Research
Society EuKos™. Has developed the ScInte Psychotherapy Method™ based on the modulation of Consciousness
States. In the past her research projects have been accredited in ECM training courses of the Ministry of Health.
Creative photographer.

“Can You Teach Me To Fly Like That?” – Translating Spoken Language Into A Synaesthetic Animation Movie
Jasmin Rani SINHA, Martin SCHLÖSSER
Area of the contribution: 5 (1)

Synaesthesia is a highly interesting phenomenon, characterised by simultaneous perceptions occuring in unexpected combinations that cannot be explained by the stimulus alone. But as we know, only a minority of people are genuine synaesthetes. As synaesthetic perceptions are strictly subjective, it is difficult to share them with the outside world who is not familiar with this experience.
As a synaesthetic “translator”, I intend to bridge this gap and make my synaesthetic perception accessible to the outside world. So I have picked one of my own synaesthesia types. For spoken foreign languages as well as for my mother tongue, I have “coloured language hearing”. Triggered by the sound (and only the sound) of a native speaker talking in her/his
native language, I perceive colours and shapes in 3D, moving through time and space. The appearance of these colours and shapes is strongly influenced by my coloured hearing, my grapheme-colour synaesthesia as well as general prosodic and grammatical features of the respective language.

Coloured Language Hearing
Synaesthetic Perception
Synaesthesia Animation
Synaesthesia Visualisation
Synaesthesia Movie

Brief biography
Jasmin Sinha is a German linguist and a project manager. Since 2006, she is living in the multi-lingual border region of Belgium, very close to Luxembourg and France, working as Grants Officer at the University of Luxembourg. Synaesthesia is her private passion. She has been investigating it from an inside perspective for over a decade – ever since she became aware of it – and strives to make hard-toexplain genuine synaesthetic perceptions accessible to the outside world. She is member of the committee of the German Synaesthesia Association, and she has founded the one-woman publishing house SYNAISTHESIS, dedicated to synaesthesia, perception, and the senses (

Design for health and well-being: a case of Synesthetic Design
Davide Antonio Gambera
IADE, Lisbon
Area of the contribution: Graphics, Design and synesthesia (8)

This paper presents a project concerning the theme of design for health and well-being, focusing the sensory dimension of products, which was conducted as a Master’s Degree research at Politecnico di Milano. The main goal of this research was to investigate the extent to which sensory perceptions are able to influence the general condition of well-being in a specific
group of users (i.e., children), characterized by an higher level of sensitivity. Our attention was therefore focused on a specific context (i.e., hospital), often characterized by sensory uproars.
To examine this question, the physical features of a set of products were manipulated to produce modifications in the surrounding environment. A field research approach was adopted in order to gather the users’ perceptions regarding their state of health, during workshops. Along this research we addressed particularly the sensation of pain, and to what extent it was possible to decrease it with a combination of simultaneous stimuli. This study is currently being deepened as a Ph.D research in IADE (Lisbon), with a grant by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia. By placing the study of senses as the starting point of this new investigation, we will assess in which manner and in which extent the interaction with products’ features, designed with such a purpose, can elicit several sensations in people. Our attention will be therefore focused on the study of phenomena of sensory-interaction (synesthesia), between those sensations found to affect the general condition of well-being. A mixed field-laboratory approach will be used to test, in a systematic way, how the different sensorial perceptions combine (in a more sophisticated level) and contribute for a state of well-being. The results will be used to create a multi-dimensional model for a sensory centered design approach. Hereafter the current research project will be presented and its methodology discussed.

Keywords: Synesthetic, Design, Health, Well-being, Senses.

Brief biography
Davide Antonio Gambera (Barletta, Italy 1990) is an industrial designer, Ph.D candidate in IADE, Lisbon. After a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Design at the Politecnico of Bari (2012) he enrolled at Politecnico di Milano where he followed the Master’s Degree Course in Product Design for Innovation. Passionate about sensory design, he graduated with a Master’s Degree Thesis with Professor Dina Riccò concerning the theme of Synesthetic Design for health and well-being (2016). Since 2017 is Ph.D candidate in IADE, where he investigates the role of sensory perceptions on people’s health, from the point of view of design.
His research, coordinated by Professor Emília Duarte, received a grant by Fundação para a Ciência e da Tecnologia. He worked as industrial and graphic design for many companies.

Bespoke calculator makes synaesthesia easier.
Joshua Berger
The University of Sydney
Area of the contribution: 1, 6, 9

The synaesthetic experience is characterized by a coupling of a triggering veridical percept, the ‘inducer’, to a non-veridical percept, the ‘concurrent’1,2. In the most widely studied variant, grapheme-colour synaesthesia, viewing numbers and letters triggers a colour experience3.
Despite the common occurrence of synaesthesia, with an estimated prevalence of 4%, it is often under-reported and under-recognised4. This is unsurprising for two primary reasons: first, due to the practical inaccessibility of others’ brain circuitry and phenomenological experience cf an externally visible trait like eye-colour, and second due to the fear of being labelled as, “faking it, on drugs, or just plain crazy”5. The mechanisms underpinning this perceptual coupling are still being elucidated. Current theories include cortical disinhibition, crossactivation, and re-entrant feedback2,3,5–7. Incongruence between the inducer and the concurrent is known to affect processing efficiency and give rise to negative affective
judgements (i.e. to have functional and affective costs)8–10 . Here we demonstrate what we believe is the first intervention aimed at this problem, by means of individualised ‘colourful calculators’. We found that a group of grapheme-colour synaesthetes reported increased satisfaction and were significantly faster while performing mathematical tasks using selfcalibrated ‘colourful calculators’. The calculators displayed the digits in colours that were congruent to the subjects’ concurrent percepts. For a person for whom ‘6’ appeared emerald green the calculator displayed ‘6’ in that same colour. Our results demonstrate that by aligning feed-forward sensory data with the synesthetic concurrent we can improve both function and affect. We envisage our ‘colourful-calculator’ to be the starting point of uniquely targeted therapeutic tools in this previously untreated population. Importantly, these tools would not be aimed at removing, but at complementing synaesthesia, a trait that has the potential to endow advantages in memory, perception, and cognition.11–13

Keywords: Incongruence, veridical, therapeutic, tool

Brief biography
Joshua Berger is an Early Career Researcher and Medical Student, from The University of Sydney. He is completing a candidature in a Masters of Philosophy, in both Medicine and Psychology. Upon learning of a friend’s mathematics anxiety, which he recognised in part stemmed from her Colour-Grapheme Synaesthesia, he designed and trialled a novel therapeutic tool, the “Colourful-Calculator”. His preliminary work received an award in Higher Cognitive Function, from the Australian Brain Foundation. Joshua’s Bachelor of Science (Advanced), equipped him with a reliable grounding in scientific
methodology however, it left him with no formal background in neuroscience. During his candidature, wide reading as well as auditing many courses in subjects such as: Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science, Medicine, Neuroanatomy, Neuroethics, Psychology, and Philosophy, Joshua has built a well-rounded grounding in many facets of brain research.
Joshua’s passions include: Surfing, Chocolate, Music, Cuddles, and his beautiful wife Nina. Nina’s irritants
include Joshua’s competing new-found love of Neuroscience and Philosophy!

1. Ward, J. Synesthesia. Annu. Rev. Psychol. 64, 49–75 (2013).
2. Grossenbacher, P. G. & Lovelace, C. T. Mechanisms of synesthesia: Cognitive and
physiological constraints. Trends Cogn. Sci. 5, 36–41 (2001).
3. Ramachandran, V. S. & Hubbard, E. M. Psychophysical investigations into the neural
basis of synaesthesia. Proc. Biol. Sci. 268, 979–983 (2001).
4. Simner, J. et al. Synaesthesia: The prevalence of atypical cross-modal experiences.
Perception 35, 1024–1033 (2006).
5. Ramachandran, V. S. & Hubbard, E. M. The phenomenology of synaesthesia. J.
Conscious. Stud. 10, 49–57 (2003).
6. Hubbard, E. M. & Ramachandran, V. S. Neurocognitive mechanisms of synesthesia.
Neuron 48, 509–520 (2005).
7. Smilek, D., Dixon, M. J., Cudahy, C. & Merikle, P. M. Synaesthetic Photisms Influence
Visual Perception. J. Cogn. Neurosci. 13, 930–936 (2001).
8. Ward, J., Sagiv, N. & Butterworth, B. The impact of visuo-spatial number forms on
simple arithmetic. Cortex 45, 1261–1265 (2009).
9. Van der Veen, F. M., Aben, H. P., Smits, M. & Röder, C. H. Grapheme-color synesthesia
interferes with color perception in a standard Stroop task. Neuroscience 258, 246–253
10. Perry, A. & Henik, A. The emotional valence of a conflict: Implications from synesthesia.
Front. Psychol. 4, 1–8 (2013).
11. Yaro, C. & Ward, J. Searching for Shereshevskii: what is superior about the memory of
synaesthetes? Q. J. Exp. Psychol. 60, 681–95 (2007).
12. Banissy, M. J., Walsh, V. & Ward, J. Enhanced sensory perception in synaesthesia. Exp.
Brain Res. 196, 565–571 (2009).
13. Hale, J., Thompson, J. M., Morgan, H. M., Cappelletti, M. & Cohen Kadosh, R. Better
together? The cognitive advantages of synaesthesia for time, numbers, and space.
Cogn. Neuropsychol. 31, 545–564 (2014).

Synaesthetic Translations. A theoretical framework
Dina Riccò
Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design
Il concetto di traduzione sinestesica – storicamente riferito a produzioni dalle finalità artistiche (Souriau, 1947; Pignotti, 1993; Riccò, 1999; Cano, 2002), e nel Novecento applicato dagli studiosi delle neuroscienze per spiegare l’unità dei sensi (Marks, 1978 “Synesthetic translation”) – è in questo paper applicato al design della comunicazione.
Il paper prende in esame i modi del tradurre un concetto astratto in immagine mentale, e poi in segno grafico, e viceversa un’immagine, grafica, fotografica, tradotte in descrizione, in sonorità, in tattilità. Il fine, e il contesto applicativo di riferimento, è l’accesso alla lettura dell’immagine, in particolare illustrativa, in diverse condizioni d’uso, e in particolare in presenza di disabilità sensoriali.
La prima parte del paper – fondata sull’analisi di casi studio di prodotti editoriali ed espositivi che prevedono n’accessibilità intersensoriale – intende fornire un quadro teorico di riferimento sui modi della traduzione sinestesica di contenuti verbo/figurali.
La seconda parte del paper presenta i risultati di un’esperienza didattica condotta con gli studenti del corso di laurea in Design della comunicazione del Politecnico di Milano, dedicata ai caratteri che incidono sulle abilità di riconoscibilità tattile (Wolfe et al. 2006) – e quindi di traduzione di un’immagine visiva in altra apticamente esperibile – in relazione alle tecniche di stampa e di produzione di un contenuto verbo/visivo.
The concept of Synaesthetic translation – historically applied to artistic productions (Souriau, 1947; Pignotti, 1993; Riccò, 1999; Cano, 2002) and in the twentieth century applied by scholars to neuroscience to explain the unity of the senses (Marks, 1978 “Synesthetic translation”) – is addressed, defined and illustrated, in this paper to the communication design.
The paper studies the ways of the to translate from a abstract concept to mental image, and then from mental image to graphic sign, and vice versa from graphic or photographic image, translated in description, in sounds or in tactile representations. The purpose, and the application contexts, are the access to the reading of the image under
different conditions of use, also for people with sensory disabilities. The first part of the paper is devoted to the observation of publishing products and exhibitions contemplated to the exploration and the sensory accessibility and it intends to furnish a theoretical framework of reference on the ways of synaesthetic translation of an image.
The second part of the paper introduces the results of a didactic experience applied – with the students of the Master of Science degree in Communication Design, at Politecnico di Milano – to the tactile exploration and to the effect on recognition abilities (Wolfe et al. 2006) of the techniques of print and realization.

Keywords: Synaesthetic Design, Synaesthetic Translation, Design Education, Tactile Graphic
Design, Sensory disability
Selected References
Baule, Giovanni; “Sinestesie traduttive. Traduttori e interpreti Multimediali / Sinestesia en la traducción. Traductores e intérpretes multimedia”, in Riccò, D., De Córdoba, M. J. (eds.), MuVi4. Video and moving image on synesthesia and visual music, Granada, Ediciones Fundación Internacional Artecittà, 2015, pp. 25-40.
Cano, Cristina; La musica nel cinema: musica, immagine, racconto, Roma, Gremese Editore, 2002.
Marks, Lawrence E.; “On colored-hearing synesthesia: Cross-modal translations of sensory dimensions”, in Psychological Bulletin, 82, 1975, pp. 303-331.
Marks, Lawrence E.; The Unity of the Senses. Interrelations among the modalities, Academic Press, New York - San Francisco - London, 1978
Pignotti, Lamberto; I sensi delle arti: sinestesie e interazioni estetiche, Dedalo, Bari, 1993.
Riccò, Dina; Sinestesie per il design. Le interazioni sensoriali nell’epoca dei multimedia, Etas, Milano, 1999.
Riccò, Dina; Sentire il design. Sinestesie nel progetto di comunicazione, Carocci, Roma, 2008.
Riccò, Dina; “The Ways of Synesthetic Translation: Design models for media accessibility”, in Proceedings of DRS 2016 Design + Research + Society Future–Focused Thinking, 50th Anniversary International Conference Brighton, UK, 27–30 June 2016, Volume 3, Editors Peter Lloyd and Erik Bohemia, Design Research Society, Loughborough University, London, 2016, pp. 1101-1110 (
Riccò, Dina; “Synesthetic translations. Theories and practices for design content accessibility”, in G. Baule, E. Caratti (edited by); Design is Translation: The translation paradigm for the culture of design. "Design and Translation": A Manifesto, Franco Angeli, Milano, 2017, pp. 149-171 [eBook].
Souriau, Étienne; La Correspondance des arts. Eléments d'esthétique comparée, Flammarion, 1947.
Wolfe, Jeremy M. (et al.); Sensation & Perception, Oxford University Press, 2006.

Dina Riccò
Degree in Architecture, Ph.D. in Industrial Design. Associate professor at Politecnico di Milano, Department of Design, where she has been teaching (since 1996) visual perception and communication.
She participates (from 2007) in organising the international conference Synaesthesia: Science & Art, promoted by the Artecittà Foundation with the University of Granada and Politecnico di Milano; she is also director of the parallel event MuVi. Video and moving image on synesthesia and visual music.
Among her most meaningful publications: the books libri Sinestesie per il design (Etas, Milano, 1999), Sentire il design (Carocci, Roma, 2008), the book (with M. J. de Córdoba, et al.) Sinestesia. Los fundamentos teóricos, artísticos y científicos, Ediciones Fundación Internacional Artecittà, Granada, 2012 (English Ed. 2014).
She has written more than 80 essays in books, in Journals and conference proceedings. She is the promoter and scientific responsible of the web site

Synaesthesia – a secret language? Continuing the artistic research in the shapes of sounds
Christine Söffing(1), Timothy B. Layden (2), Esther Kretzinger (3)
(1) Synästhesiewerkstatt & Center for Music & Art, Ulm University Germany (1,3) , UK (2)
(1), (2), (3)
Area of the contribution: Music and synaesthesia & Art (10 & 7)

in the web site:
In 2014/15 Layden, Schmidtke, Söffing, created special sounds to compare synaesthetic sound shapes. They found some amazing similarities between Laydens and Söffings "synaesthetic sound shape perception, which held relations with other artists with synesthesia who took part in their experiments.1 2 Based on these results, they continued their artistic research.
A professional singer, Esther Kretzinger, a soprano, was asked to sing A drawings and B singing exercises. The sounds were recorded and visualized. Esther was again asked to sing the drawings. In this new research they want to find in a drawing-singing-drawing-singing procedure whether it would be possible to find visual synaesthetic form symbols / icons instead of musical notes. If so, it could theoretically be possible to ask any musician to play synaesthetic form symbols/ icons. Other musicians were asked to interpret the same drawings that have resulting from initial experiments with Esther. The resultant sounds will be compared, looking at changes in pitch, tempo, volume… Visual artists will also be asked to interpret the sounds and these will also be compared.
The question is: Is the synaesthetic sound to shape perception a secret language or one that is inefeble in terms of ‘normal’ written or spoken language yet still interpretable? In order to verify the process of finding the icon´s, they played the recorded sounds to many synaethetic and non-synaesthetic persons. The results and defeats are presented.

Keywords: shapes of sounds, artistic research, synaesthesia and art, musical interpretation,

Brief biography
Timothy B. Layden – /
Dr Layden is a teacher and an interdisciplinary artist who uses his synaesthesia to inform and inspire his work. He has been a member of the Articitta Foundation since 2007 and is its representative in the United Kingdom.
Christine Söffing - /
Christine Söffing teaches art to people aged 4 to 80 and for multipliers, guiding art-exhibitions, organizing art-projects and is a multimedia-artist. She uses her synaesthetic colour and shape perception of sounds ad scents for making music, compositions, films and sound-art-installations. She has been a member of the German synaesthesia foundation (DSG e.V.) since 2005 and is one of the board members of since 2016. She is living and working in Ulm/Neu-Ulm, Germany.
Esther Kretzinger -
Esther Kretzinger was born in 1983 in Transylvania (Romania). Already as a student in Salzburg, she received her first opera engagements at the Salzburg Landestheater and Festspielhaus. Her triumph in many renowned voice competitions soon brought her to the attention of the international audience and the specialized press. Some of these successes were the 1. prize at the 35. Federal Singing Competition in Berlin, and the 2. prize at the 26. International Hans Gabor Belvedere Singing Competition in Vienna. She was also an award winner at the 12. International Ferruccio Tagliavini Singing Competition under Dame Joan Sutherland’s patronage and received a special award at the 25. International Robert Stolz Singing
Competition in Hamburg (2010). She has since been touring successfully at home and abroad as a concert and opera singer. She is based in Berlin, Germany


1 Timothy B. Layden; Christine Söffing; Klaus Schmidtke: Comparando las formas sonidos: Una investigación artística. Actas del V Congreso International de Sinestesia: Ciencia Y Arte, 2015. Edita: Ma Jose De Cordoba Serrano; Sean A. Day, Julia López de la Torre, Dina Ricco, Joerg Jewanski. ISBN 978-84-92876-51-8
2Timothy B. Layden; Christine Söffing; Klaus Schmidtke: Comparing the Shape of Sounds: An artistic investigation. V International Conference on Synesthesia, Science and Art, Alcalá la Real, 16-19th May
2015. Siehe:

The Synesthetic Symbolism of the Buddhist Music and Dance Images of the Bai People in Dali, Yunnan, China
Area of the contribution: 10
College of Foreign Languages, Yunnan University
P. R. China,
Kunming, Yunnan Province, P. R. China
ABSTRACT (Arial Capital letters Bold 10 pt)
During the Bai people’s Dali kingdom period (AD 937-1253), Buddhist music and dances flourished in Dali, Yunnan, China. The Buddhist Scroll Painting of the Dali Kingdom depicts images of various musical instruments and flying Apsaras musicians and dancers who join one another head to feet, suggesting the deva realm’s broadness.
Various musicians and dancers are depicted as performing elegantly in front of the statue of Buddha to show their piety. Their prototypes may have been the local dancers whose images reveal the popular Buddhist dancing styles in Dali. The musical instruments tied with ribbons and floating in the air symbolize the ones in the Buddhist deva realm, which are believed to be able to sound melodious heavenly music spontaneously, and suggest the happiness there and the praise of and tribute to Buddha.
Some other Buddhist instruments symbolize Buddha’s deterrent and overwhelming power. Some alien musical instruments are depicted and endowed with localized Buddhist implications. The thin-waist drum with a red string held by the localized fourarmed, huge and black deva indicates the Buddhist heavenly drum. His fierce image suggests his function as a guardian of the instrument, as the Bai legend says that he can subdue the demons whose bones will be scared limp when they hear his drum’s beats.
The Bai people’s Buddhist music and dance images thus represent symbolic associations by synesthesia.

Keywords: synesthesia, symbolism, the Bai people, Buddhist music and dance images, the Dali kingdom
Brief biography
Professor Ling WANG is of the Yi nationality. She was awarded the Ph. D. degree in ethnic cultures and arts in 2006. She has been a teacher at Yunnan University since 1996, and has served on the board of directors of China’s Society for Music Iconology since 2013. From 2000 to 2001 she was a visiting scholar at the University of Nottingham in the UK. From 2009 to 2013 she was a postdoctoral researcher in arts at Fujian Normal University in China. In 2016 she was a visiting professor at Saint Louis University in the US.
Her research interests have been in ethnic music iconography and intercultural communication. She has completed six China’s national research projects. So far she has had over 60 articles and six monographs published in Chinese or English in China, US, Germany and Thailand, including four articles published in Music in Art—International Journal for Music Iconography in the US. Her third monograph in Chinese entitled Yinyue Tuxiang Xue yu Yunnan Minzu Yinyue Tuxiang Yanjiu is about music iconology and ethnic music iconography of images found in Yunnan. Its book review entitled “Wang Ling. Music Iconology and Music Iconography among the Peoples of Yunnan” was published in 2011 Year Book for Traditional Music by the International Council for Traditional Music under the auspices of UNESCO.

¿Son el territorio y el ambiente cultural determinantes en la posible “condición” y grado de la sinestesia? Breve introducción a estudios comparativos sobre personas con sinestesia en el mundo.
Does the territory and the cultural environment determine the possible "condition" of synaesthesia and its degree? Brief introduction to comparative studies on people with synesthesia in the world.
María José de Córdoba Serrano Universidad de Granada, Dpto. Dibujo. Facultad de Bellas Artes de Granada y Fundación Internacional artecittà. España.

Abstract: Se trata de presentar los resultados obtenidos en un pequeño sondeo de posibles sinestésicos en el Sahara Occidental, entre los alumnos participantes de la Escuela de Artes y Derechos Humanos de Tinduf – ESA-(campamentos de refugiados saharauis) en el año 2014; una reflexión y análisis de los resultados y sobre lo observado, en un territorio con carencias de todo tipo, en relación a las capacidades creativas de los jóvenes saharauis.
Se presenta, igualmente, un análisis de la visita realizada en 2016 a China, donde introducimos y ofertamos a la Universidad de Hang Zhou, Beijing, Xu Zhou (Escuela de Arte), y a la asociación creada allí sobre el estudio de la sinestesia, información y metodología que usamos para testar a posibles sinestésicos entre el alumnado de la universidad de Granada; comienzo allí del estudio de posibles sinestésicos y sus peculiaridades. Esto plantea la necesidad de estudios comparativos para poder responder a la pregunta planteada.
English: The aim is to present the results obtained in a small survey of possible synesthetics in Western Sahara among the students participating in the School of Arts and Human Rights of Tindouf - ESA (Saharawi refugee camps) in 2014; a reflection and analysis of the results, and on the observed, in a territory with all kinds of deficiencies, in relation to the creative capacities of the young Saharawis.
We also present an analysis of the visit to China in 2016, where we introduced and offered to Hang Zhou University, Beijing, Xu Zhou (School of Art), and the association created there on the study of synesthesia, information and methodology that we used to test possible synaesthetics in the students of the University of Granada, beginning there the study of possible synesthetics and their peculiarities. This raises the need for comparative studies to be able to answer the question posed.


The submission Web page for Synesthesia2018 is:

Plazos/Important Dates

Las Conferencias y comunicaciones se organizarán dentro de estas áreas/Conferences and communications will be organized within these areas:

  • Neurociencia y cognición / Neuroscinece and cognition
  • Neurológica y lingüística / Neurology and linguistic
  • Psicológica y psiquiátrica / Psychological and psychiatric
  • Lingüística y literaria / linguistic and literary
  • Percepción, creatividad y sinestesia/ Perception, creativity and siynethesia
  • Didáctica y educación / Teaching and education
  • Artística / Artistic
  • Gráfica, diseño y sinestesia / Graphics, design and synesthesia
  • Nuevas tecnologías y sinestesia / New Technologies and synesthesia
  • Música y sinestesia / Music and synesthesia
  • Arte Terapia y Sinestesia/arttherapy and Synaesthesia


Comité Organizador/Organization Committee:



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