The 10th Annual Conference of the American Synesthesia Association will be held at OCAD University, in the main Auditorium, on June 1 and 2, 2013. OCAD U is located at 100 McCaul Street, Toronto.
Click here for full details about the conference, including schedule, registration and accomodation information.
ASA Conference Keynote Lecture:
Synesthesia - A window into human consciousness and social cognition
Noam Sagiv, Brunel University, Centre for Cognition and Neuroimaging
Over the years we have come to realize that the study of synesthesia involves virtually every aspect of human cognition including perception, attention, memory, language, thought, emotion, and creativity. I will consider here two additional aspects: consciousness and social cognition. In the first part of this talk, I will argue that synesthesia could be used as a model problem for the scientific study of consciousness. I will highlight some of the areas in which synesthesia could generate insights into human consciousness. These include: Individual differences in conscious experience, the neural correlates of consciousness, how we construct the perceived world, and the development of consciousness. In the second part of the talk, I will review some of the work we have done on personification in synesthesia and how it ties into ordinary social cognition. These include phenomenological, behavioral, and neuroimaging studies. I will argue that frameworks for understanding synesthesia could be extended into the domain of social cognition and that the personification of objects or graphemes may provide a new point of view on one of the most central problems in human cognition - understanding other people’s state of mind.
Noam Sagiv is currently lab director of the Synaesthesia Research Laboratory at Brunel University, Department of Psychology. His research interests concern the cognitive and neural bases of human perception and consciousness. Specific research interests include cross-modal interactions and synaesthesia. He is also interested in face perception and its disorders. Particularly, prosopagnosia, a condition in which individuals cannot recognise faces and may occasionally fail to recognise even close friends and realtives; and prosopometamorphopsia, a condition in which faces appear distorted while other objects are not. The interest in such extraordinary perceptual symptoms and syndromes is also related to his interest in the neural correlates of perceptual awareness and of consciousness itself.