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A common scheme for cross-sensory correspondences across stimulus domains

In: Seeing and Perceiving
Authors:
Laura Walker Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, GB

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Peter Walker Department of Psychology, Lancaster University, GB

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Brian Francis Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Lancaster University, GB

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Following Karwoski et al. (), it is proposed that cross-sensory correspondences can arise from extensive, bidirectional cross-activation between dimensions of connotative meaning. If this account is correct, the same set of cross-sensory correspondences (e.g., smallness with brightness, brightness with high pitch, high pitch with sharpness) should emerge regardless of the sensory channel (visual, auditory or tactile) that is probed. To test this prediction, participants rated a range of visual, auditory, and tactile stimuli on a series of rating scales relating to different dimensions of connotative meaning. The same set of cross-sensory correspondences emerged from all types of stimulus variation. This supports the suggestion that cross-sensory correspondences can reflect reciprocal interactions between dimensions of connotative meaning, and indicates that Spence’s () theoretical framework might be usefully extended to include semantically-based correspondences.

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