The Amazing Perceptual Trait Synesthesia: What It Is, and What Psychological Science Can Tell Us About It

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 2:00pm
Center for Legislative Studies (CLS), Auditorium

Synesthesia is a rare perceptual trait in which one type of sensory event elicits in the mind an “extra” sensation. Examples include colored letters, where seeing or hearing a letter elicits a sensation of color, and number forms, where numbers are thought of as having characteristic locations in space. Dr. Lovelace will describe what synesthesia is and discuss current research into this fascinating sensory experience.

Dr. Chris Lovelace, Department of Psychology

Dr. Lovelace earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology from Wake Forest University and went on to earn Master’s and Doctoral degrees in experimental psychology from American University in Washington, DC. His research focus is how senses like vision, hearing, and touch interact in forming our perception of the world. Following two postdoctoral fellowships at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, one in animal neurophysiology and another in human functional neuroimaging, he accepted a faculty position at a large Midwestern research university, where he soon came to the understanding that his interests lie more with developing student researchers than with producing research of his own. In the fall of 2011, he made the move to Shepherd University, where he teaches in the Psychology Department and is establishing a research laboratory to investigate how our senses cooperate.