Become Synesthetic And Raise Your IQ By Twelve Points

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Synesthesia is a neurological condition found in roughly 4 percent of people where their senses overlap. They may visualize letters in the alphabet as different colors.

Since the disease is not well understood, scientists are still uncertain if it is genetic or has an environmental basis.

In a new study, researchers at the University of Sussex have demonstrated that people can be trained to see letters as colors similar to those with synesthesia, reports Science Daily.

For the study, the researchers created a nine-week program at the University's Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science to train 14 participants to see letters as colors.

While it was possible to train the participants successfully, the most interesting finding was that the participants of the study's IQ raised an average of 12 points when compared to the control group that did not have the training.

"It should be emphasized that we are not claiming to have trained non-synesthetes to become genuine synesthetes," said Nicolas Rothen, a professor of Psychology at the University of Sussex and coauthor of the study. "When we retested our participants three months after training, they had largely lost the experience of seeing colors when thinking about the letters. But it does show that synesthesia is likely to have a major developmental component, starting for many people in childhood."

"The main implication of our study is that radically new ways of experiencing the world can be brought about simply through extensive perceptual training," said Daniel Bor, a professor of Informatics with the Sackler Centre for Consciousness Science at the University of Sussex.

"The cognitive boost, although provisional, may eventually lead to clinical cognitive training tools to support mental function in vulnerable groups, such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity (ADHD) children, or adults starting to suffer from dementia," Bor added.

The research was published in the journal Scientific Reports.


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