Jamie Ward

Jamie Ward
University of Sussex · School of Psychology

About

183
Publications
55,527
Reads
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7,334
Citations
Additional affiliations
August 2007 - present
University of Sussex
Position
  • Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience
August 1999 - July 2007
University College London
Position
  • Lecturer / Senior Lecturer

Publications

Publications (183)
Article
Both real-world experience and behavioral laboratory research suggest that entirely irrelevant stimuli (distractors) can interfere with a primary task. However, it is as yet unknown whether such interference reflects competition for spatial attention - indeed, prominent theories of attention predict that this should not be the case. Whilst electrop...
Article
Full-text available
Misophonia is an unusually strong aversion to everyday sounds such as chewing, crunching, or breathing. Previous studies have suggested that rates of autism might be elevated in misophonia, and here we examine this claim in detail. We present a comprehensive review of the relevant literature, and two empirical studies examining children and adults...
Article
Full-text available
Objective Misophonia is an unusually strong aversion to a specific class of sounds – most often human bodily sounds such as chewing, crunching, or breathing. A number of studies have emerged in the last 10 years examining misophonia in adults, but little is known about the impact of the condition in children. Here we set out to investigate the well...
Article
Introduction: Misophonia is an unusually strong aversion to everyday sounds, such as chewing, crunching, or breathing. Here, we ask whether misophonia might be tied to an unusual profile of attention (and related traits), which serves to substantially heighten an otherwise everyday disliking of sounds. Methods: In Study 1, we tested 136 misophon...
Article
Full-text available
It is unclear whether synesthesia is one condition or many, and this has implications for whether theories should postulate a single cause or multiple independent causes. Study 1 analyses data from a large sample of self-referred synesthetes ( N = 2,925), who answered a questionnaire about N = 164 potential types of synesthesia. Clustering and fact...
Poster
Full-text available
3.9.2021: Jewanski, J.; Czedik-Eysenberg, I.; Reuter, C.; Siddiq, .; Gantschacher, A.; Ward, J.: "Somewhere along the rainbow" oder "Fade to Grey" – Synästhesiefarbwahrnehmung bei gemorphten und teiltonreduzierten Klängen. Posterbeitrag am 37. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Musikpsychologie (2021) „Musik und soziale Verbundenheit“. Zoo...
Article
Full-text available
People with aphantasia have impoverished visual imagery so struggle to form mental pictures in the mind's eye. By testing people with and without aphantasia, we investigate the relationship between sensory imagery and sensory sensitivity (i.e., hyper- or hypo-reactivity to incoming signals through the sense organs). In Experiment 1 we first show th...
Article
Full-text available
Depth, colour, and thermal images contain practical and actionable information for the blind. Conveying this information through alternative modalities such as audition creates new interaction possibilities for users as well as opportunities to study neuroplasticity. The 'SoundSight' App (www. Sound Sight. co. uk) is a smartphone platform that allo...
Article
Full-text available
The neural representation of a ‘biological self’ is linked theoretically to the control of bodily physiology. In an influential model, selfhood relates to internal agency and higher-order interoceptive representation, inferred from the predicted impact of efferent autonomic nervous activity on afferent viscerosensory feedback. Here we tested if an...
Article
Prior knowledge has been shown to facilitate the incorporation of visual stimuli into awareness. We adopted an individual differences approach to explore whether a tendency to 'see the expected' is general or method-specific. We administered a binocular rivalry task and manipulated selective attention, as well as induced expectations via predictive...
Preprint
Research has established that prior knowledge of visual stimuli facilitates their entry into awareness. We adopted an individual differences approach to explore whether a tendency to ‘see the expected’ is general or method-specific. We administered a binocular rivalry task and manipulated selective attention, as well as induced expectations via pre...
Preprint
Full-text available
The neural representation of a ‘biological self’ is linked theoretically to the control of bodily physiology. In an infleuntial model, selfhood relates to internal agency and higher-order interoceptive representation, inferred from the predicted impact of efferent autonomic nerves on afferent viscerosensory feedback. Here we tested if an altered re...
Article
Full-text available
At the first ever worldwide international conference of psychology in Paris, 1889, one symposium included a round-table event devoted entirely to the neurodevelopmental condition of synesthesia. Details of this seminal gathering on synesthesia and its international reception have been lost to historical obscurity. A synesthesia study committee emer...
Article
Full-text available
Researchers often adjudicate between models of memory according to the models’ ability to explain impaired patterns of performance (e.g., in amnesia). In contrast, evidence from special groups with enhanced memory is very rarely considered. Here, we explored how people with unusual perceptual experiences (synaesthesia) perform on various measures o...
Article
Full-text available
Synaesthesia is a neurological phenomenon affecting perception, where triggering stimuli (e.g. letters and numbers) elicit unusual secondary sensory experiences (e.g. colours). Family-based studies point to a role for genetic factors in the development of this trait. However, the contributions of common genomic variation to synaesthesia have not ye...
Article
Full-text available
Vicarious perception refers to the ability to co-represent the experiences of others. Prior research has shown considerable inter-individual variability in vicarious perception of pain, with some experiencing conscious sensations of pain on their own body when viewing another person in pain (conscious vicarious perception/mirror-pain synaesthesia)....
Preprint
Full-text available
Depth, colour, and thermal images contain practical and actionable information for the visually-impaired. Conveying this information through alternative modalities such as audition creates new interaction possibilities for users as well as opportunities to study neuroplasticity. The ‘SoundSight’ App (www.SoundSight.co.uk) provides a smartphone plat...
Article
Full-text available
Synesthesia is a rare perceptual condition causing unusual sensations, which are triggered by the stimulation of otherwise unrelated modalities (e.g., the sensation of colors triggered when listening to music). In addition to the name it takes today, the condition has had a wide variety of designations throughout its scientific history. These diffe...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory substitution devices (SSDs) can convey visuospatial information through spatialised auditory or tactile stimulation using wearable technology. However, the level of information loss associated with this transformation is unknown. In this study novice users discriminated the location of two objects at 1.2m using devices that transformed a 16...
Article
Full-text available
Synesthesia is a rare neurological trait that causes unusual, often cross-sensory, experiences (e.g., seeing colors when listening to music). This article traces the history of synesthesia in the period 1876 to 1895. In this period, there was considerable debate over the nature of synesthesia, its causes, and how it should be named. The issue also...
Preprint
[Published in Nature Communications as Trait phenomenological control predicts experience of mirror synaesthesia and the rubber hand illusion] The control of top down processes to generate experience has been studied within the context of hypnosis since the birth of psychological science. In hypnotic responding, expectancies arising from imaginativ...
Article
Synaesthesia is known to be linked to enhanced episodic memory abilities, across a variety of stimuli and tests, but the evidence has tended to come from younger adults. This enhanced cognitive ability in early adult life, together with the known brain‐related differences linked to synaesthesia (e.g., in both grey and white matter structure), makes...
Article
Multisensory stimuli are argued to capture attention more effectively than unisensory stimuli due to their ability to elicit a super-additive neuronal response. However, behavioural evidence for enhanced multisensory atten-tional capture is mixed. Furthermore, the notion of multisensory enhancement of attention conflicts with findings suggesting th...
Article
Full-text available
The phenomenon of change blindness reveals that people are surprisingly poor at detecting unexpected visual changes; however, research on individual differences in detection ability is scarce. Predictive processing accounts of visual perception suggest that better change detection may be linked to assigning greater weight to prediction error signal...
Article
Full-text available
For some people (vicarious pain responders), seeing others in pain is experienced as pain felt on their own body and this has been linked to differences in the neurocognitive mechanisms that support empathy. Given that empathy is not a unitary construct, the aim of this study was to establish which empathic traits are more pronounced in vicarious p...
Preprint
Full-text available
The sensory recruitment model envisages visual working memory (VWM) as an emergent property that is encoded and maintained in sensory (visual) regions. The model implies that enhanced sensory-perceptual functions, as in synaesthesia, entail a dedicated VWM-system, showing reduced visual cortex activity as a result of neural specificity. By contrast...
Article
Empirical evidence suggests that synesthesia is associated with enhanced sensory processing. A separate body of empirical literature suggests that synesthesia is linked to a specific profile of enhanced episodic and working memory performance. However, whether sensory (iconic) memory performance is also affected by synesthesia remains unknown. Ther...
Preprint
The rubber hand illusion describes a sense of embodiment over a fake hand induced by synchronous visuo-tactile stimulation. In Tourette Syndrome, the expression of involuntary tics and preceding premonitory sensations is associated with the perturbation of subjective feelings of self-control and agency. We compared responses to induction of the Rub...
Article
Full-text available
People with mirror-touch synaesthesia (MTS) report tactile sensations on their own body when seeing another person being touched. Although this has been associated with heightened empathy and emotion perception, this finding has been disputed. Here, we conduct two experiments to explore this relationship further. In Experiment 1, we develop a new s...
Article
Full-text available
Cross-modal correspondences describe the widespread tendency for attributes in one sensory modality to be consistently matched to those in another modality. For example, high pitched sounds tend to be matched to spiky shapes, small sizes, and high elevations. However, the extent to which these correspondences depend on sensory experience (e.g. regu...
Article
Full-text available
Around a quarter of the population report “mirror pain” experiences in which bodily sensations of pain are elicited in response to viewing another person in pain. We have shown that this population of responders further fractionates into two distinct subsets (Sensory/localized and Affective/General), which presents an important opportunity to inves...
Article
Full-text available
There is a widespread tendency to associate certain properties of sound with those of colour (e.g., higher pitches with lighter colours). Yet it is an open question how sound influences chroma or hue when properly controlling for lightness. To examine this, we asked participants to adjust physically equiluminant colours until they 'went best' with...
Article
Full-text available
Savant syndrome is a condition where prodigious talent co-occurs with developmental difficulties such as autism spectrum conditions (ASC). To better understand savant skills, we previously proposed a link with synaesthesia: that savant syndrome may arise in ASC individuals who also happen to have synaesthesia. A second, unrelated claim is that peop...
Article
Full-text available
The representational account of memory envisages perception and memory to be on a continuum rather than in discretely divided brain systems [Bussey, T. J., & Saksida, L. M. Memory, perception, and the ventral visual-perirhinal-hippocampal stream: Thinking outside of the boxes. Hippocampus, 17, 898-908, 2007]. We tested this account using a novel be...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The sensory recruitment model envisages visual working memory (VWM) as an emergent property that is encoded and maintained in sensory (visual) regions and facilitated by top-down control from prefrontal cortex (PFC). The model implies that synaesthesia, where sensory-perceptual functions are enhanced, entails an efficient VWM-network with reduced a...
Article
Full-text available
Synaesthesia is an unusual perceptual experience in which an inducer stimulus triggers a percept in a different domain in addition to its own. To explore the conditions under which synaesthesia evolves, we studied a neuronal network model that represents two recurrently connected neural systems. The interactions in the network evolve according to l...
Data
Analytical derivation of the conditions for the evolution of cross-talk in the simple model. (DOCX)
Article
This study considers how inter-individual differences in visual ability are structured. Visual ability could be a single entity (along the lines of general intelligence, or 'g'), or could be structured according to major anatomical or physiological pathways (dorsal v. ventral streams; magno- v. parvo-cellular systems); or may be a finer-grained mos...
Article
Full-text available
We developed the Sussex Cognitive Styles Questionnaire (SCSQ) to investigate visual and verbal processing preferences and incorporate global/local processing orientations and systemising into a single, comprehensive measure. In Study 1 (N = 1542), factor analysis revealed six reliable subscales to the final 60 item questionnaire: Imagery Ability (r...
Data
Items used in the SCSQ, their original source (and subscale, if appropriate, in parentheses), and item number in the current measure. (DOCX)
Data
Tables A-F: Inter-item correlation matrices for each subscale of the SCSQ. (DOCX)
Data
Study 1 Data—Item scores on each SCSQ item. Item numbers are given, and can be crossed-referenced with S1 Table for the item wordings. Gender is coded as 0 = female; 1 = male. (XLSX)
Data
Study 2 Data—Factor scores and memory task performance. Mean factor scores for every participant have been calculated, and performance for each task given as a proportion of correct responses. Full data for each block in the associates tasks are included, along with d’ scores and response criterion for the fractal recognition task. Gender is coded...
Data
Study 3 Data—Factor scores and presence of synaesthesia. Mean factor scores for participants included in Study 3. Grapheme-colour synaesthesia is coded as 0 = absent; 1 = present. Sequence-space synaesthesia is coded as 0 = absent; 1 = present. Gender is coded as 0 = female; 1 = male. GCS score refers to the consistency scores for the Eagleman et a...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Sensory Substitution Devices (SSDs) convert visual information into another sensory channel (e.g. sound) to improve the everyday functioning of blind and visually impaired persons (BVIP). However, the range of possible functions and options for translating vision into sound is largely open-ended. To provide constraints on the design of this technol...
Article
Full-text available
In grapheme-colour synaesthesia (GCS), the presentation of letters or numbers induces an additional 'concurrent' experience of colour. Early functional MRI (fMRI) investigations of GCS reported activation in colour-selective area V4 during the concurrent experience. However, others have failed to replicate this key finding. We reasoned that individ...
Article
Full-text available
Visual sensory substitution devices (SSDs) can represent visual characteristics through distinct patterns of sound, allowing a visually impaired user access to visual information. Previous SSDs have avoided colour and when they do encode colour, have assigned sounds to colour in a largely unprincipled way. This study introduces a new tablet-based S...
Article
Full-text available
People with sequence-space synesthesia (SSS) report stable visuo-spatial forms corresponding to numbers, days, and months (amongst others). This type of synesthesia has intrigued scientists for over 130 years but the lack of an agreed upon tool for assessing it has held back research on this phenomenon. The present study builds on previous tests by...
Article
The rubber hand illusion (RHI) occurs when the participants' own unseen hand is stroked in synchrony with an observed rubber hand. It manifests itself in terms of a tendency to misreport the position of one's own hand as nearer to the rubber hand (proprioceptive drift) and in terms of feelings of ownership of the rubber hand. Many studies have exam...
Article
This Special Issue of Cognitive Neuroscience showcases the latest theories and findings in research on synesthesia. The various contributions are discussed in relation to three broad themes: Models and neural mechanisms; new types of synesthesia; and cognitive profile and demographic characteristics.
Article
Full-text available
Somatic tinnitus is the ability to modulate the psychoacoustic features of tinnitus by somatic manoeuvres. The condition is still not fully understood and further identification of this subtype is essential, particularly for the purpose of establishing protocols for both its diagnosis and treatment. This study aimed to investigate the characteristi...
Article
Questionnaires have been developed for categorising grapheme-colour synaesthetes into two sub-types based on phenomenology: associators and projectors. The general approach has been to assume a priori the existence of two sub-types on a single dimension (with endpoints as projector and associator) rather than explore, in a data-driven fashion, othe...
Article
Mirror-touch synaesthesia (MTS) is the conscious experience of tactile sensations induced by seeing someone else touched. This paper considers two different, although not mutually exclusive, theoretical explanations and, in the final section, considers the relation between MTS and other forms of synaesthesia and also other kinds of vicarious percep...
Article
Full-text available
The control of physiological arousal can assist in the regulation of emotional state. A subset cortical and subcortical brain regions are implicated in autonomic control of bodily arousal during emotional behaviours. Here, we combined human functional neuroimaging with autonomic monitoring to identify neural mechanisms that support the volitional r...
Article
Sensory substitution devices convert information normally associated with one sense into another sense (e.g. converting vision into sound). This is often done to compensate for an impaired sense. The present research uses a multimodal approach in which both natural vision and sound-from-vision ('soundscapes') are simultaneously presented. Although...