Cross-Modal Associations Between Color and Touch: Mapping Haptic and Tactile Terms to the Surface of the Munsell Color Solid

in Multisensory Research
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This study investigated cross-modal associations between color and touch using a matching task. Participants matched colors drawn from the surface of the Munsell color solid to antonym pairs of haptic/tactile adjectives. For most of the term pairs assessed (soft/hard, smooth/rough, flat/uneven, slippery/not slippery, light/heavy, thin/thick and round/sharp) matching appears predominantly influenced by lightness, with the first term from each pair matched to light colors and the other to dark colors, a result in close agreement with previous research. For two terms, warm and wet, there were clear influences of hue on task performance. There were also similarities between patterns of color matching to several of the haptic/tactile terms assessed and color matching to another term, dislike. This suggests valence may play a mediating role in cross-modal associations involving touch and color.

Cross-Modal Associations Between Color and Touch: Mapping Haptic and Tactile Terms to the Surface of the Munsell Color Solid

in Multisensory Research

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    Mean number of matches made by participants on trials involving each term pair, for chromatic (a) and achromatic chips (b). For each term pair, darker section of bar represents the first term listed.

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    Results of analyses of matches using each term pair. Shaded areas indicate areas of Munsell array (analysis 1), and hues (analysis 2) or lightness levels (analysis 3) significantly associated with terms. See text (Section 2.2.2.1 and following) for details.

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    Top panel shows proportion of matches, as more or less than expected assuming matching is based on lightness alone, involving dark stimuli from different hue regions to the term dislike. Other panels show equivalent data for the eight haptic/tactile terms significantly associated with matches to dark stimuli (hard/rough/dry/uneven/not slippery/heavy/thick/sharp). Error bars indicate ± 1 SE; ∗ = significant at 0.01 level; ∗∗ = significant at 0.001 level. See text (Section 2.2.2.3.) for further details.

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