Synaesthesia: Theoretical, artistic and scientific foundations

Fundación Internacional artecittà
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 Synaesthesia: Theoretical, artistic and scientific foundations

Editorial Board

Sean A. Day (Trident Technical College, USA. President of the American Synesthesia Association)

Maria José De Córdoba (Granada University, Department of Drawing)

Emilio G. Milán (Granada University, Department of Experimental Psychology)

Ed Hubbard (Vanderbilt University, Department of Psychology and Human Development)

Dina Riccò (Politecnico di Milano University, Department of Design)

Editorial Staff

Edited by: Maria Josè De Cordoba, Dina Riccò, Sean Day

The three editors have worked in collaboration on the entire book. In particular: M.J. De Cordoba

has edited chapters I.2, I.4, I.5., II.2, II.6, II.7, II.8; D. Riccò chapters I.1, I.3, II.1, II.3, II.4, II.5; and Sean Day has edited the English revision of the whole book.

Chapters written in native English by the respective authors: I.1, I.2, I.5, II.1.

English translation from Spanish: Julia López de la Torre Lucha (Foreword, Preface, chapters I.4, II.2, II.7, II.8); Donald Hubert Duffy III (chapter II.5).

English Translation from Italian: Margaret Wood / Intras Congressi Bologna (chapters I.6, II.4), Peter Deville (chapter I.3), John Lander, Annarita Guidi and Maria Catricalà (chapter II.3).

English Translation from Russian: Anton V. Sidoroff-Dorso (Chapter II.6). Special thanks to Timothy B. Layden.

Graphic coordination: Dina Riccò

Graphic design: Giulia Martimucci

Visual: Alessandro Zamperini

© 2014 Ediciones Fundación Internacional ArteCittà, Granada (Spain)

Original Title: Sinestesia. Los fundamentos teóricos, artísticos y científicos,

by Maria José De Cordoba, Dina Riccò et al.

First Spanish Edition published in 2012 by Ediciones Fundación Internacional Artecittà

(Granada, Spain)

eBook Edition

ISBN: 978-84-939054-9-1

D.L.: GR 1383-2014 (14.07.2014)

Produced by Fundación Internacional Artecittà, Granada, Spain

Printed Edition

ISBN: 978-84-939054-6-0

D.L.: GR 1382-2014 (14.07.2014)

Printing: Imprenta Del Carmen, Granada, Spain

First English Edition: July 2014

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About the author

 This edition in English language appears two years after the first edition of Sinestesia. Los fundamentos teóricos, artísticos y científicos (2012) that was in Spanish. This volume compiles contributions regarding the study of synaesthesia in a wide and multidisciplinary sense, from science to arts, its target audience being synaesthesia researchers, university students and PhD students.

We already intended, with the release of the first edition, to provide a partially bilingual Spanish/English edition, since around half of the contributions were originally written in English, so that it could embrace all the contributions in the original language of the authors. Due to the high number of pages the volume finally would have had, the idea of a double edition appeared.

Compared with the first edition in Spanish, a chapter about the relationship between music and synaesthesia (López-Montes) has been integrated. This absence was already mentioned in our first preface.

During the time between the two editions, a great volume about synaesthesias has been published, The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia, edited by Ed Hubbard and Julia Simner.

Indeed, both volumes have something in common; for example, the interdisciplinary approach, and some of the authors (Brang, Day, Hubbard, Jewansky, Marks, Ramachandran, Ward). Nevertheless, both volumes have a different purpose. Our precise intention is to provide documentations about the beginning and spreading of the contemporary debate on the subject of synaesthesia and its position between the two edges: science and art, which, from our perspective, was due to the clever intuition discerned in the opening of the I international and multidisciplinary conference on Synaesthesia: Science and Arts, held in Cuevas de Almanzora, in Spain, in 2005. We firmly believed the first international experience certainly contributed to the dissemination and enrichment of the discussion, publications and interest that currently exists about synaesthesia.

The purpose of this volume is to demonstrate this development with the actors that participated in this process.

We have pleasure in presenting this new edition also because next year, during the V Conference of Synaesthesia: Science and Art – organized by ArtecittàFoundation with the collaboration of Politecnico di Milano, the University of Jaén, the Cultural Department of Alcalá La Real Council and the American Synesthesia Association (ASA) – that will be held in Alcalá La Real (Jaén, Spain, 16 – 19 May 2015), we will celebrate our tenth anniversary, a very special occasion for us: that is why we would like to offer to all attendees a memento of our work.

Among the different chapters we have combined the usage of the term synaesthesia (“European English”) and synesthesia (American English) – always respecting the terms used by the authors. Since the edition is published in Europe, the “European” English spelling has been prioritised in the title and in the text in general.

To conclude, we would like to show our especial gratitude to all of the authors who have enthusiastically collaborated on the Project of this new edition, to our translators – especially to Julia, our “official” translator – and to Artecittà Foundation that have made possible this new edition.

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MuVi5 is the fifth edition of Visual Music dedicated videos – following upon MuVi (Granada, 2007), MuVi2 (Granada, 2009), MuVi3 (Almeria, 2012) and MuVi4 (Alcalá la Real, Jaén, 2015) – an event that completes the Fifth International Conference Sinestesia: Ciencia y Arte, which took place at Alcalá la Real, Jaén (Convento Capuchinos) and the “Victoria Eugenia” Conservatory of Music of Granada, in Spain, from May 18th to 21th.This is a collection of kinetic works in visual, audiovisual, or interactive fields, from artists, musicians, designers, and performers, designed on music. Alongside the videos from professionals are also works produced in the academic field, presented by professors, or directly by university students, academies of fine arts, and music conservatories. The catalog contains an extensive selection of photographs and videos submitted by participants whose home countries are European, including England (London), Hungary (Pécs), Ireland (Dublin), Italy (Milan), Poland (Warsaw), and Spain (Granada, Girona), as well as outside of Europe, including China (Hong Kong), New Zealand (Auckland), and the USA (Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon). Links included about 100 minutes of online video.  

Direction and coordination

Dina Riccò (Design Department, School of Design, Politecnico

di Milano, Italy)

Organizational direction

María José de Córdoba Serrano (University of Granada,

Drawing Department / Artecittà International Foundation,

Granada, Spain), Francisco Toro Ceballos (Área de Cultura,

Ayuntamiento de Alcalá la Real, Jaén)

Scientific committee of the exposition

Giovanni Baule (Design Department, School of Design, Politecnico

di Milano, Italy)

María José de Córdoba Serrano (University of Granada / Fundación

Internacional Artecittà, Granada, Spain)

José López Montes (Real Conservatorio Superior de Música

“Victoria Eugenia” de Granada, Spain)

Jesús Pertíñez López (Drawing Department, University of

Granada, Spain)

Dina Riccò (Design Department, School of Design, Politecnico

di Milano, Italy)

Juan García Villar (Painting Department, University of

Granada, Spain)



Elena Caratti (Design Department, School of Design,

Politecnico di Milano, Italy),

Tremedad Gnecco Suarez (Faculty of Educational Sciences,

University of Granada, Spain),

Reynaldo Fernández Manzano (Centro de Documentación

musical, Junta de Andalucía, Spain),

Victor Parra (Univ. Pedagógica experimental libertador,

Barquesimeto, Venezuela),

Umberto Tolino (Design Department, School of Design,

Politecnico di Milano, Italy),

Concejalía de Cultura, Ayuntamiento de Alcalá la Real, Jaén,


Planning and running of exhibition

María José de Córdoba Serrano, Francisco Toro Ceballos, Julia

López de la Torre Lucha, Comisión artística Teatro Martinez



Artecittà International Foundation (Granada, Spain),

University of Granada (Faculty of Fine Arts, Faculty of Educational

Sciences, Department of Drawing, Granada Spain),

Politecnico di Milano (Design Department, School of Design,




Ayuntamiento de Alcalá la Real (Jaén, Spain)

Real Conservatorio Superior de Música “Victoria Eugenia” de

Granada (Spain)

Universidad Pedagógica experimental libertador (Instituto

pedagógico “Luis Beltrán Prieto Figueroa”, Barquesimeto,


Master’s Degree in Drawing: Creation, Production and Dissemination,

University of Granada

American Synesthesia Association (New York, US)

IASAS International Association of Synaesthetes, Artists, and

Scientists (San Francisco, US)

Editorial staff

Book and DVD edited by Dina Riccò and María José de Córdoba


The two editors have worked in collaboration for the whole

book, more particularly: Dina Riccò has edited the pp. 15-40,

71-111; Maria José de Cordoba Serrano the pp. 41-70, 112-152.

The videos, the texts descriptions of the videos and

the figures are by the respective participants and authors

Editing English texts: by Sean Day

Editing Spanish texts: by María José de Córdoba, Julia López

de la Torre Lucha

Editing Italian texts: Dina Riccò


Art direction: Dina Riccò

Graphic design of the book and cover: Giulia Martimucci

Motion graphic design: Gianluca Balzerano

Interface design of the Dvd: Alessandro Zamperini

Interaction design of the Dvd: Alberto Barone

Web platform (

Elena Caratti, Dina Riccò, Umberto Tolino


ISBN 13 (Book + Dvd): 978-84-943071-7-1

ISBN 13 (Ebook): 978-84-943071-9-5

© 2018 Artecittà International Foundation, Granada (Spain),

Print: Imprenta del Carmen, Granada

Printed in Spain. First edition: March 2018

 Con la colaboración de:

Francisco Acuyo | David Brang | Maria Catricalà | Sean A. Day | Matej Hochel

Edward M. Hubbard | Jörg Jewanski | Oscar Iborra Martínez | Emilio Gómez Milán

Asunción Jódar Miñarro | Lawrence E. Marks | José López-Montes | V.S. Ramachandran

Anton V. Sidoroff-Dorso | Tonino Tornitore | Jamie Ward

Esta segunda edición, en versión ebook, de Sinestesia. Los fundamentos

teóricos, artísticos y científicos, sale a la luz en concomitancia a

la primera edición inglesa Synaesthesia. Theoretical, artistic and

scientific foundations – en versión ebook e impresa – editada por

nosotras y por Sean A. Day. Es un volumen que recoge contribuciones

en el estudio de la sinestesia con amplio espectro interdisciplinario

que va desde la ciencia al arte, dirigido a estudiosos en la materia y

también para los estudiantes universitarios y doctorandos.

Respecto a la primera edición española, la principal integración es la

inclusión de un nuevo capítulo dedicado a la relación de la sinestesia

con la música (López Montes) del cual ya en el prefacio de la primera

edición señalábamos su falta.

En este tiempo, ha sido publicado un poderoso volumen sobre

sinestesia – The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia – editado por Edward

M. Hubbard y Julia Simner.

Los dos volúmenes tienen sin duda puntos en común, tales como, un

efonque interdisciplinario, así como una parte de los autores (Brang,

Day, Hubbard, Jewansky, Marks, Ramachandran, Ward); los dos

volúmenes tienen sin embargo propósitos diferentes.

En concreto, nosotros proponemos documentar el nacimiento y

expansión del debate contemporáneo sobre el tema de la sinestesia, en

su posición extrema entre la ciencia y arte que, en nuestra opinión, fue

inaugurado y propiciado con previsora intuición ya en el I Congreso

Internacional, interdisciplinar, Sinestesia. Ciencia y Arte, celebrado

en Cuevas del Almanzora, España, año 2005. Creemos que aquella

primera experiencia internacional ha contribuido enormemente a

ampliar el debate, las publicaciones y el interés que hoy conocemos

sobre la sinestesia. Este volumen se presenta para testimoniar este

desarrollo con los protagonistas que han participado en este proceso.

Estamos particularmente felices de presentar esta nueva edición

también porque el próximo año, con ocasión del V Congreso Sinestesia:

Ciencia y Arte, que tendrá lugar en Jaén (16-19 mayo 2015), celebramos

el décimo aniversario, por tanto para nosotros es una ocasión especial

de satisfacción poder ofrecer a los futuros participantes una memoria

de este trabajo.

Para concluir, renovamos nuestro agradecimiento a todos los autores

que han participado de manera entusiasta en el proyecto, a los

traductores - a Julia López de la Torre Lucha en particular - y a la

Fundación Internacional Artecittà que han hecho posible la realización

de esta nueva edición.

María José De Cordoba

Fundación Internacional Artecittà

Universidad de Granada

Dina Riccò

Politecnico di Milano

 El libro El Universo kiki bouba: Ideaestesia, empatía y neuromarketing,

se ha escrito en los últimos tres años, a partir de los estudios

de nuestro equipo de investigación sobre el efecto kiki bouba y la

extensión de su importancia científica, al estudio del origen del lenguaje,

la ideaestesia y la personificación, así como sobre sus aplicaciones

prácticas en el campo del neuromarketing. De otro lado, la

docencia en la asignatura Psicología Teórica, que he impartido por

más de doce años en la licenciatura de Psicología de la Universidad

de Granada, hasta el año 2014, en quinto curso; donde los alumnos

actúan como investigadores, en este caso del Universo Kiki Bouba,

realizando estudios propios como trabajo final para la asignatura.

Necesitábamos un Paradigma Experimental interesante, barato, que

no requiriese para su aplicación más que unos folios y una pregunta

y que nos permitiera penetrar en algunos enigmas de la mente

humana, como la conciencia, la empatía o la sinestesia. Especial

mención merecen los congresos Internacionales de Sinestesia, Ciencia

y Arte, que desde 2005 hasta la actualidad continúa realizando y

dirigiendo María José de Córdoba de la Fundación internacional

Artecitta. En las comunicaciones de estos congresos hemos encontrado

inspiración, así como interlocutores para discutir nuestras ideas

sobre la sinestesia, la ideaestesia y el efecto Kiki Bouba. Por ello,

la Fundación Internacional Artecitta era el lugar más adecuado para

publicar este libro. Por último, el trabajo fundador, básico para este

libro, se encuentra en la tesis del Doctor Oscar Iborra (2011) sobre

La sinestesia: El ejecutivo central ante tareas de modalidad cruzada.

Universidad de Granada.

Nos hemos divertido escribiendo, supervisando, dirigiendo, corrigiendo,

construyendo, sobre los anteriores tres apoyos, este libro;

incluso hemos organizado un congreso solidario llamada La Penumbra

de la Conciencia (2014) en la Facultad de Psicología de laUniversidad de Granada, donde hemos expuesto en forma de conferencias,

posters y comunicaciones orales, los contenidos del mismo,

y otros trabajos sobre el efecto Kiki Bouba que por límites de extensión

han quedado fuera, pero que tuvieron gran aceptación y

despertaron curiosidad. El lector podrá encontrarlos en la página

web del grupo de investigación (poniendo setshift en el buscador


Granada, 1 de Junio de 2014

Profesor Emilio Gómez Milán

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