Assessing the Role of Taste Intensity and Hedonics in Taste–Shape Correspondences

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  • 1 Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
  • 2 Xperiment, Lausanne, Switzerland

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Taste liking influences the way in which people match tastes to shapes. However, taste–shape matching cannot be explained entirely by taste hedonics. Here, we assess whether variations in taste intensity influence such crossmodal correspondences. Participants were presented with five basic tastants in two concentrations and had to rate them on roundness/angularity shape scales, as well as in terms of liking, and intensity. The results revealed that taste quality, intensity, and participants’ liking of the taste significantly predicted the roundness/angularity of the tastants. The results also revealed a positive correlation between perceived intensity and roundness/angularity for each of the tastants except sweet, and a negative correlation between liking and roundness/angularity for all of the tastes. These results are discussed in terms of the mechanism(s) that underlie the crossmodal correspondence between taste and shape.

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