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Open Access An Exploratory Neuropsychological Case Study of Two Chromesthetic Musicians

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Two musicians with chromesthesia (one with and one without absolute pitch) were the subjects of an intensive case study. Musical and neuropsychological interviews and testing were conducted to determine the extent of each individual's aural acuity and synesthesia characteristics, as well as possible neuropsychological characteristics concurrent with this condition. The individual with absolute pitch had aurally-based chromesthesia that was elicited only by sound, with photisms experienced internally and externally for a variety of musical phenomena. The individual without absolute pitch had chromesthesia and grapheme-color synesthesia for days of the week, letters, and numbers. This individual's photisms were experienced internally. Musical phenomena where photisms were elicited consisted of instrument fingering, conducting musical scores and musical sound when the pitch was known. Both participants demonstrated relative deficits in visuoconstruction, attention, and executive functioning on neuropsychological tests, reported attention deficit and compulsive symptoms, and acknowledged auditory-language processing dysfunction, and social, emotional and self- regulation dysfunction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2019

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  • Research Perspectives in Music Education is the peer-reviewed biannual research journal of the Florida Music Educators Association. The journal publishes music education research using qualitative, quantitative, philosophical, historical, or theoretical methodologies and also reviews of literature with critical synthesis.
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