Is synaesthesia a dominantly female trait?

Simner, Julia and Carmichael, Duncan A (2015) Is synaesthesia a dominantly female trait? Cognitive Neuroscience, 6 (2-3). pp. 68-76. ISSN 1758-8928

PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (530kB) | Preview


Synaesthesia is a familial condition that gives rise to unusual secondary percepts. We present a large-scale prevalence study which informs our ideas on whether the condition is more prevalent in men or women. A number of studies over the last 20 years have suggested the condition is found more commonly in women, with up to six times more female synaesthetes than male. Other studies attributed this female bias to merely a recruitment confound: women synaesthetes may be more likely to self-refer for study. We offer two pieces of evidence that there is no extreme female bias in synaesthesia: first we re-analyse previous reports of very large female biases to show again that they likely arose from self-referral or other methodological issues. Second, we present the largest published prevalence study to date on grapheme→colour synaesthesia in which our prevalence (1.39% of the population) replicates our earlier estimates (and in which we demonstrate no strong female bias even with sufficient power to detect such a difference.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Depositing User: Anna Hobbs
Date Deposited: 07 Oct 2015 12:17
Last Modified: 09 Mar 2017 13:45

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update