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date: 19 September 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Synaesthesia's Renaissance comments on attitudes and developments in synaesthesia research during the 20th century, focusing in particular on the last three decades when the greatest change took place. During the last century, reaction to the phenomenon varied by group. Synesthetes were gratified to learn that their experience was bona fide and had a scientific name. Laypersons were fascinated and clamored to know more. Well-known psychologists published on it early in the century, but then academia became hostile. After 1940 synesthesia was dismissed as merely subjective and unsuited to respectable scientific inquiry. For decades critics insisted that synesthesia was neither a real perception nor a brain phenomenon. Though put to rest by century's end, an attitude of disbelief can still be encountered.

Keywords: Cytowic, synesthesia/synaesthesia, acceptance, attitudes, early history, early research, Michal Watson, tasted shapes, popular press

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