Open ph.d. position

We currently have an opening for a ph.d.-student in our lab in a project investigating synaesthesia and expertise. The position is a three year position at Aalborg University, with strong collaborations in Iceland, China, and the US.

For more information and to apply please see (advertisement here).

The application deadline has been extended to February 1st 2017.

Funding

Recently we received the DFF 2 research project grant from the Danish Council for Independent Research, which will support a number of investigations into synesthesia.

The Synesthesia Project

dff-logoThe Synesthesia Project have recently received a grant for a three year project on the perceptual effects of synesthesia and how they relate to prior experience, entitled “Synaesthesia – the Roles of Association Learning and of Differential Brain Development“. The project involves three full-time positions including part time involvement from a number of researchers already part of The Synesthesia Project; from Denmark (Thomas Alrik Sørensen (PI), Maria, Nordfang, Morten Storm Overgaard) and Iceland (Árni Gunnar Ásgeirsson). Moreover, the project has a number of international partners which recently was extended to include partners from England, Iceland, USA, China, and Japan. Currently the project is set to begin in the fall of 2016 and run over a three year period (announcement from the Danish Council for Independent Research).

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Components of Attention in Grapheme-Color Synesthesia: A Modeling Approach

The first of our studies on synaesthesia is now available online for free.

ITVA

A recent study published online in PLoS ONE by Ásgeirsson et al. (2015) use TVA to analyse what attentional components are modulated by stimulus congruency in colour-grapheme synaesthesia. The authors report that processing speed is affected by stimulus congruency. Surprisingly, several TVA parameters such as the threshold for visual perception as well as attentional selectivity remain un affected by a manipulation of congruency. The authors argue that as well as yielding a more detailed understanding of how synaesthesia interact with cognitive components like attention.

The study is freely available online at http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0134456

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Components of Attention Modulated by Temporal Expectation

ITVA

In a new study published in Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, Sørensen et al. (2014) investigate the effects of temporal expectation and how it modulate attentional TVA parameters. They demonstrate that the temporal expectancy paradigm modulate visual short-term memory, possibly through a phasic modulation of observer arousal akin to a hypothesis proposed by Easterbrook (1959). Sørensen et al. also present a novel analysis using the standard deviation of the attentional weights as a measure of how evenly an observer distribute their attentional resources. Hereby, it is possible to measure the scope of attentional focus in addition to the traditional TVA parameters.

Article available for download via APA on PsycNET

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The Disappearing Hand

The first prize at the 8th Annual Best Illusion of the Year Contest at VSS in 2012 went to a demonstration by Roger Newport, Helen Gilpin and Catherine Preston called the disappearing hand trick.

This demonstration made me think of some beautiful experiments conducted in Copenhagen by Torsten Ingemann Nielsen in 1963 called the alien hand experiment. Here an observer also lets visual input override proprioceptive information, as an experimentor through the use of mirrors manipulate the visual feedback of the observer (see fig 1 in Gallagher & Sørensen 2006).

References

Nielsen, T. I. (1963). Volition: A new experimental approach. Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, 4, 225–230.

Gallagher, S. & Sørensen, J. B. (2006). Experimenting with phenomenology. Consciousness and Cognition, 15, 119–134.

Flashed face distortion effect

This interesting demonstration won the second prize at the 8th Annual Best Illusion
of the Year Contest at VSS this year. It was presented by Matthew Thompson, and who recently published a paper with his colleagues describing the effect in Perception (Tangen, Murphy & Thompson, 2011).

You can also read the story of the discovery of the flashed face distortion effect in the UQ Psyc blog.

References

Tangen, J. M., Murphy, S. C., & Thompson, M. B. (2011). Flashed face distortion effect: Grotesque faces from relative spaces. Perception, 40, 628-630. doi:10.1068/p6968