Journal Article Database of synesthetic color associations for Japanese kanji.

Hamada, Daisuke  ,  Yamamoto, Hiroki  ,  Saiki, Jun

49 ( 1 )  , pp.242 - 257 , 2017-02 , Springer US
Synesthesia is a neurological phenomenon in which certain types of stimuli elicit involuntary perceptions in an unrelated pathway. A common type of synesthesia is grapheme-color synesthesia, in which the visual perception of letters and numbers stimulates the perception of a specific color. Previous studies have often collected relatively small numbers of grapheme-color associations per synesthete, but the accumulation of a large quantity of data has greater promise for uncovering the mechanisms underlying synesthetic association. In this study, we therefore collected large samples of data from a total of eight synesthetes. All told, we obtained over 1000 synesthetic colors associated with Japanese kanji characters from each of two synesthetes, over 100 synesthetic colors form each of three synesthetes, and about 80 synesthetic colors associated with Japanese hiragana, Latin letters, and Arabic numerals from each of three synesthetes. We then compiled the data into a database, called the KANJI-Synesthetic Colors Database (K-SCD), which has a total of 5122 colors for 483, 46, and 46 Japanese kanji, hiragana, and katakana characters, respectively, as well as for 26 Latin letters and ten Arabic numerals. In addition to introducing the K-SCD, this article demonstrates the database's merits by using two examples, in which two new rules for synesthetic association, "shape similarity" and "synesthetic color clustering, " were found. The K-SCD is publicly accessible ( ) and will be a valuable resource for those who wish to conduct statistical analyses using a rich dataset in order to uncover the rules governing synesthetic association and to understand its mechanisms.

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