In the early 20th century, the German expressionist painter Franz Marc formulated assumptions concerning the meanings of color, based on his individual sensations. He characterized the ‘cool’ blue as the ‘masculine principle’. Yellow represented the ‘feminine principle’ which he declared as ‘gentle, cheerful, and sensual’. This leaves red, the color he perceived as ‘brutal and heavy’. Here, we tested some of the color–meaning associations assumed by Franz Marc via implicit measures based on response times, using Single Category Implicit Association Tests. The participants had to classify words as belonging to one of two semantic categories (e.g., masculine or feminine) by pressing one of two response buttons. One of the semantic categories shared a response button with a hue (e.g., masculine–blue), and this button needed to be pressed whenever a color patch was presented on the screen. The results showed that response times were faster when related hues and meaning categories (according to Marc’s assumptions) shared the same response button, compared to when unrelated hues and meaning categories were assigned to the same button. The pattern of response times was compatible with the associations of blue–masculine, yellow–feminine, blue–cool and yellow–gentle as proposed by Marc. In addition, our data indicate associations of yellow–warm and red–warm, which were not explicitly formulated by Franz Marc. However, the proposed red–brutal association was not confirmed.
Previous studies of time-to-collision (TTC) judgments of approaching objects focused on effectiveness of visual TTC information in the optical expansion pattern (e.g., visual tau, disparity). Fewer studies examined effectiveness of auditory TTC information in the pattern of increasing intensity (auditory tau), or measured integration of auditory and visual TTC information. Here, participants judged TTC of an approaching object presented in the visual or auditory modality, or both concurrently. TTC information provided by the modalities was jittered slightly against each other, so that auditory and visual TTC were not perfectly correlated. A psychophysical reverse correlation approach was used to estimate the influence of auditory and visual cues on TTC estimates. TTC estimates were shorter in the auditory than the visual condition. On average, TTC judgments in the audiovisual condition were not significantly different from judgments in the visual condition. However, multiple regression analyses showed that TTC estimates were based on both auditory and visual information. Although heuristic cues (final sound pressure level, final optical size) and more reliable information (relative rate of change in acoustic intensity, optical expansion) contributed to auditory and visual judgments, the effect of heuristics was greater in the auditory condition. Although auditory and visual information influenced judgments, concurrent presentation of both did not result in lower response variability compared to presentation of either one alone; there was no multimodal advantage. The relative weightings of heuristics and more reliable information differed between auditory and visual TTC judgments, and when both were available, visual information was weighted more heavily.