Taste modulator influences rare case of color-gustatory synesthesia

Catherine Craver-Lemley, Elizabethtown College
Adam Reeves, Northeastern University


We investigated the effect of a sweetness blocker on the synesthetic taste experience of a rare color-gustatory synesthete, E.C., for whom specific colors elicit unique tastes. Blocking E.C.’s sweetness receptors while the tongue was otherwise unstimulated left other taste components of the synesthesia unaltered but initially reduced her synesthetic sweetness, which suggests a peripheral modulation of the synesthetic illusion.