First Person: Anina Rich. Synesthesia's altered senses

Press/Media: Public Engagement Activities


Interview for American Scientist Magazine



Period1 Jul 2020

Media contributions


Media contributions

  • TitleSynesthesia’s Altered Senses
    Degree of recognitionInternational
    Media name/outletAmerican Scientist
    Media typePrint
    Duration/Length/Size2 pages
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    DescriptionCognitive scientist Anina Rich came to study synesthesia, the phenomenon of respond- ing in an unusual way to a sensory stimulus, through a serendipitous fusion of interests. While in graduate school studying how the brain pays attention to visual cues, Rich helped a journalist who was writing about synesthesia. A note at the end of the subse- quent article invited readers to get in touch with Rich if they’d ever had a synesthetic ex- perience. At the time, the condition was thought to affect just one person in 25,000, “but within a week, I had more than 100 letters from people saying, ‘I do this! I didn’t know anyone else did,’” Rich recalls. Today, she heads the Perception in Action Research Centre at Macquarie University in Australia and the Synaesthesia@Macquarie research group, where she investigates synesthesia to learn about how the brain integrates information. Rich spoke with special issue editor Corey S. Powell about her research.
    Producer/AuthorCorey S Powell
    PersonsAnina Rich