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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Synesthesia is a fascinating phenomenon which has captured the imagination of scientists and artists alike. This inherited condition gives rise to a kind of 'merging of the senses', and so for those who experience it, everyday activities like reading or listening to music trigger extraordinary impressions of colours, tastes, smells, shapes and other sensations. Synesthesia research also informs us about normal sensation because all people experience cross-sensory mappings to an implicit degree. Synesthesia has a considerably broad appeal, and in recent decades the field has experienced a resurgence of interest. These advances have painted a detailed story about the development, genetics, psychology, history, aesthetics and neuroscience of synesthesia, and provide a contemporary source of study for a new generation of scholars. The Oxford Handbook of Synesthesia brings together this broad body of knowledge into one definitive state-of-the-art handbook. It includes a large number of concisely written chapters, under broader headings, which tackle questions about the origins of synesthesia, its neurological basis, its links with language and numbers, attention and perception, and with 'normal' sensory and linguistic processing. It asks questions about synesthesia's role in language evolution, and presents both contemporary and historical overviews of the field. It shows synaesthesia's costs and benefits (e.g., in creativity, memory, imagery) and describes how synaesthesia can provide inspiration for artists and designers. The book ends with a series of perspectives on synesthesia, including a first-hand account, and philosophical viewpoints which show how synaesthesia poses unique questions about sensation, consciousness and the nature of reality.

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





Alcalá la Real, Jaén (España).

Sedes: Convento de Capuchinos,

Palacio Abacial, Teatro Martínez

Montañés, Alcalá la Real (Jaén) y

Conservatorio Superior de Música

Victoria Eugenia, Granada, España.

Facultad de Bellas Artes, UGR

Granada, España

Versión digital, Abril de 2018. Primera

Edición/First edition: April 2018

E-book ISBN: 978-84-948665-0-0

Comité editorial: Mª José de Córdoba

Serrano; Julia López de la Torre Lucha;

Timothy B. Leyden.

Diseño imagen, trípticos de

promoción y cartel: Víctor Parra

©Editorial: Fundación Internacional


Granada. 2018

C/Doctor Medina Olmos nº 44.

18015-Granada, España

Nota aclaratoria: E-book interactivo.

Formato PDF. Todo el material

recogido en este libro de Actas está

protegido por copyright, ley

internacional, y no debe ser

reproducido, distribuido, ni publicado

sin el permiso expreso solicitado

previamente a sus autores/

All materials contained on this Book

are protected by International

copyright laws and cannot be

reproduced, distributed, transmitted,

displayed, published or broadcasted

without the prior written permission

of the publisher.

Los textos se presentan como han

sido enviados por los congresistas/

investigadores, respetando si han

querido publicar sus textos completos

o sólo los resúmenes.

Comité Organizador/Organization


Comité de dirección: Dra. Mª José de

Córdoba. F.I.A.C. y UGR. Coordinador

General: Dr. Francisco Toro Ceballos.

Jefe de servicio. Técnico de Cultura

del Excmo. Ayuntamiento de Alcalá la

Real, Jaén. España.

Juan M. Martín Afán de Rivera.

Técnico de Cultura. Excmo.

Ayuntamiento de Alcalá la Real, Jaén.


Dirección MuVi5: Dra. Dina

Riccò (Univ. Politecnico di Milano)

& Dra. María José de Córdoba UGR.

Coordinador Internacional: Dr. Sean

A Day (IASAS) and Dr. Antón Sidoroff

Dorso (Artecitta Ru). Coordinación

Interna: Dr.Timothy B Layden y Julia

López de la Torre Lucha (Artecittà)

Comité Científico:

Dr. Edward M. Hubbard (University

of Wisconsin-Madison); Dr. Joerg

Jewansky; Dr. Markus Zedler; Dr.

Sean A Day, Dra. DinaRiccò (Politecnico di Milano)


interuniversitario: Dr. Juan García

Villar (FIAC).

Colaboradores / Delegaciones:

Dr. Víctor Parra (UPEL,

Venezuela); Dr. Wilmer Chávez

(UCLA, Venezuela); José Antonio

Fernández (Synlogic, FIAC. Asesor

psicopedagógico FIAC); Dr. Mohamed

Radi Abouarab y Prof. Dr. Maged


Rector de la Universidad de

Kafrelsheikh, (Egipto). Dra. Helena

Melero (Univ. Rey Juan Carlos III.

Madrid y FIAC, Madrid); Master

Dibujo, Producción y Difusión, Dra.

Mari Carmen Hidalgo y Dr. Jesús

Pertíñez López. UGR; Ninghui

Xiong and Tong Jung Ding (Artecittà

China); Dra. Coral Morales, Ciencias

de la Educación, UJA. Instituto de

Estudios Giennenses (IEG): Dr. Pedro

Galera Andreu y Dra. Adela Tarifa

Fernández. Concejalía de

Cultura, Excmo. Ayuntamiento de

Alcalá la Real: Sr. D. Juan Francisco


Ayudante Comunicación Diseño e

Imagen Ayto. Alcalá la Real, Jaén

Federico Barquero Mesa.

Traducción simultánea: Julia López de

la Torre, Timothy B Layden (FIAC).

y Dr. Víctor Parra, (F.I.A.C).

Colaboración especial: Sr. D. Jesús

Caicedo Bernabé. Presidente de la


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