Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Intramodal and Crossmodal Pairing and Anchoring in Comparisons of Successive Stimuli

Academic journal article Attention, Perception and Psychophysics

Intramodal and Crossmodal Pairing and Anchoring in Comparisons of Successive Stimuli

Article excerpt

Published online: 7 March 2014

# Psychonomic Society, Inc. 2014

Abstract Two experiments were conducted to study effects of modality, temporal position, and their interaction on comparisons of successive stimuli. In Experiment 1, intramodal (tone-tone and line-line) and crossmodal (tone-line and line-tone) stimulus pairs, with two interstimulus intervals (ISIs), 400 and 2,000 ms, were presented. Participants indicated which stimulus was the ?stronger.? Time-order errors (TOEs) were assessed using the D% measure and were found in all types of pairs. Variation in TOEs across conditions was well accounted for by changes in parameters (stimulus weights, reference levels) in an extended version of Hellström's sensation weighting (SW) model. With an ISI of 2,000 ms, the first stimulus had a lower weight (less impact on the response) than did the second stimulus. More negative TOEs were found with the longer ISI in all pair types except tone-line. In Experiment 2, participants indicated which of two lines was the longer or which of two tones was the louder. An intra- or crossmodal anchor, or no anchor, was interpolated between the stimuli. Anchoring tended to reduce the weight of the first stimulus, suggesting interference with memory, and to yield negative TOEs. Intramodal anchors yielded reduced weights of both stimuli, most dramatically for tones, suggesting an additional effect of stimulus interference. Response times decreased with crossmodal anchors. For line-line pairs, strong negative TOEs were found. In both experiments, the variation in TOE across conditions was well accounted for by the SW model.

Keywords Stimulus comparison . Crossmodal . Time-order errors . Anchoring

We can compare a high-pitched and a low-pitched tone for their loudness or a red and a black line for their length. But can we compare a line and a tone for their strength? Intensity is a common attribute pertaining to different sensory modalities, such as loudness, brightness, heaviness, warmth, touch, and taste. There is a body of evidence suggesting crossmodal correspondence between different modalities in terms of the intensity aspect (Spence, 2011).

Marks, Hammeal, and Bornstein (1987)obtainedmatches between sounds and lights that varied along such dimensions as brightness, pitch, and loudness. Adults, as well as 4-year- olds, were virtually unanimous in matching the brighter of two lights with the higher-pitched, as well as the louder, of two sounds. The indication is, therefore, that the crossmodal com- binations dim and low pitched, dim and soft, bright and high pitched, and bright and loud are congruent, whereas dim and high pitched, dim and loud, bright and low pitched, and bright and soft are incongruent.Marks(1974) obtained similar re- sults using other kinds of stimuli. In one experiment, he used the pitch of a tone to match gray patches varying in lightness. Low pitch was found to be congruent with black, and high pitch with white. Later, Marks (1989) had participants judge the degree of similarity within all possible pairs of a visual stimulus (light patches varying in luminance) and an auditory stimulus (tones varying in sound pressure and frequency). The ratings of similarity were then subjected to multidimensional scaling, which yielded a two-dimensional solution where loudness was represented on one axis, pitch on the other, and brightness as a vectorial combination of both dimensions, indicating congruence both between pitch and brightness and between loudness and brightness.

Other experiments have reported similar magnitude corre- spondences between attributes of auditory and of visual stim- uli-for instance, brightness and loudness (Bond & Stevens, 1969), pitch and brightness (Marks, 1974; Wicker, 1968), and loudness and visual contrast (Wicker, 1968). These types of findings have also been reported for children with, for in- stance, loudness and size (Smith & Sera, 1992), pitch and size (Bien, ten Oever, Goebel, & Sack, 2012), pitch and visual sharpness (Walker et al. …

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