Pitch Affects Estimates of Space but not Vice Versa

Alexander KranjecDuquesne University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Matthew LehetCarnegie Mellon University Pittsburgh, PA, USA
Anjan ChatterjeeUniversity of Pennsylvania Philadelphia, PA, USA


The idea that we think about relatively abstract domains (like time) in terms of more concrete domains (like space) but not vice versa can be traced to conceptual metaphor theory. Experiments using verbal and/or visual stimuli suggest a deep ontological basis for space-time asymmetries. Yet vision makes a privileged contribution to spatial processing raising questions about modality. Recently, we found that in sound, time and space are mutually contagious, with a larger effect of time on space. Here we examine the mutual effects of space, time, and pitch, a uniquely auditory attribute. If space is more abstract than time in sound, space should be more easily contaminated by pitch, while being less effective in contaminating it. While time and pitch were shown to be mutually contagious, pitch affected estimates of space but not vice versa. Results overall suggest that in sound, time is not fundamentally more abstract than space.


Pitch Affects Estimates of Space but not Vice Versa (276 KB)

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