Sound-color associations in psychosis-prone individuals

Brady Berman, Mark Serper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Synesthetic-pseudosynesthetic characteristics have been hypothesizedto be a schizophrenia endophenotype, a developmental feature, and/ora symptom of psychosis. Few studies to date, however, have examined whetherindividuals at risk for psychosis have synesthetic symptoms.We examined the relationshipbetween hue and pitch in high psychosis prone (HP; n=30) and lowpsychosis prone individuals (LP; n=31). Synesthesia was evaluated using selfreportand two performance-based tasks. Results revealed that HP subjects experiencedmoresynesthetic experiences than the LPonly on the self-reportmeasure.These results suggest that high psychotic prone patients report unusual experiencesbut are no more likely to exhibit synesthesia than LP individuals. HP individuals, however, were more likely to choose shorter wavelength colors than LPindividuals on performance tasks. These results are consistent with the notionthat psychosis vulnerability is associated with a preference to light wavelengthsassociated with increasing emotional valence and negative affect.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)614-619
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Nervous and Mental Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Psychosis proneness
  • Synesthesia


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