Familial aggregation of synaesthesia with autism (but not schizophrenia)

Nugent, Max and Ward, Jamie (2022) Familial aggregation of synaesthesia with autism (but not schizophrenia). Cognitive Neuropsychiatry, 27 (5). pp. 373-391. ISSN 1354-6805

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Abstract

This study determines whether there is a familial aggregation between synaesthesia and two neuropsychiatric conditions (autism and schizophrenia). We examined the prevalence of autism and schizophrenia among synaesthetes and non-synaesthetic controls, and among their first-degree relatives. As predicted, autism occurred at elevated levels among synaesthetes and – we document for the first time – amongst their relatives. This suggests a shared genetic predisposition. This was not found for schizophrenia, where a link may be expected, or in a control condition (type 1 diabetes) where we had no a priori reason to assume a link. Synaesthetes, compared to controls, were also more likely to have other synaesthetes in their family. People with three or more types of synaesthesia were more likely (compared to synaesthetes with fewer types) to have synaesthetic relatives and to report autism in themselves. People with two or more types of synaesthesia (compared to synaesthetes with only one type) were more likely to report familial autism. That is, more extreme synaesthetes may tend to hail from more neurodiverse families.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: synaesthesia, synesthesia, autism, schizophrenia, unusual experiences, inheritance, neurodevelopment
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 01 Jul 2022 08:49
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 13:15
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/106710

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