The evolution of the concept of synesthesia in the nineteenth century as revealed through the history of its name

Jewanski, Jörg, Simner, Julia, Day, Sean A, Rothen, Nicolas and Ward, Jamie (2020) The evolution of the concept of synesthesia in the nineteenth century as revealed through the history of its name. Journal of the History of the Neurosciences, 29 (3). pp. 259-285. ISSN 0964-704X

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Abstract

Synesthesia is a rare perceptual condition causing unusual sensations, which are triggered by the stimulation of otherwise unrelated modalities (e.g., the sensation of colors triggered when listening to music). In addition to the name it takes today, the condition has had a wide variety of designations throughout its scientific history. These different names have also been accompanied by shifting boundaries in its definition, and the literature has undergone a considerable process of change in the development of a term for synesthesia, starting with “obscure feeling” in 1772, and ending with the first emergence of the true term “synesthesia” or “synæsthesiæ” in 1892. In this article, we will unpack the complex history of this nomenclature; provide key excerpts from central texts, in often hard-to-locate sources; and translate these early passages and terminologies into English.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Farbenhören, Synesthesia, audition colorée, color hearing, history of medicine, history of psychology, nineteenth century, philology, terminology, Brain, Color Perception, History, 18th Century, History, 19th Century, History, 20th Century, Humans, Music, Synesthesia, Terminology as Topic
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2022 17:20
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2022 18:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/106391

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