Crossmodal Spatial Mappings as a Function of Online Relational Analyses?

AbstractCrossmodal correspondences are innate, language-based and statistically derived. They occur across all sensory systems and in different cultures. Despite their multiformity, they are exhibited analogously, mainly through robust congruency effects. One plausible explanation is that they rely on a common underlying mechanism, reflecting the fundamental ability to transfer relational patterns across different domains. We investigated the pitch-height correspondence in a bimodal sound-discrimination task, where the context of one relative sound pitch was changed online. The intermediate sound frequency was presented in successive blocks with lower or higher equidistant sounds and two squares at fixed up and down vertical positions. Congruency effects were transferred across sound contexts with ease. The results supported the assumption about the relational basis of the crossmodal associations. In addition, vertical congruency depended critically on the horizontal spatial representations of sound.

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