Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Open Access The Role of Pitch and Tempo in Sound-Temperature Crossmodal Correspondences

No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

The Role of Pitch and Tempo in Sound-Temperature Crossmodal Correspondences

  • PDF
  • HTML
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality
image of Multisensory Research

Affiliations: 1: Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University, South Parks Road, Oxford, OX1 3UD, UK

*To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail:

We explored the putative existence of crossmodal correspondences between sound attributes and beverage temperature. An online pre-study was conducted first, in order to determine whether people would associate the auditory parameters of pitch and tempo with different imagined beverage temperatures. The same melody was manipulated to create a matrix of 25 variants with five different levels of both pitch and tempo. The participants were instructed to imagine consuming hot, room-temperature, or cold water, then to choose the melody that best matched the imagined drinking experience. The results revealed that imagining drinking cold water was associated with a significantly higher pitch than drinking both room-temperature and hot water, and with significantly faster tempo than room-temperature water. Next, the online study was replicated with participants in the lab tasting samples of hot, room-temperature, and cold water while choosing a melody that best matched the actual tasting experience. The results confirmed that, compared to room-temperature and hot water, the experience of cold water was associated with both significantly higher pitch and fast tempo. Possible mechanisms and potential applications of these results are discussed.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...

1. Brandt S. A., Stark L. W. (1997). "Spontaneous eye movements during visual imagery reflect the content of the visual scene", J. Cogn. Neurosci. Vol 9, 2938. [Crossref]
2. Brown S., Gao X., Tisdelle L., Eickhoff S. B., Liotti M. (2011). "Naturalizing aesthetics: brain areas for aesthetic appraisal across sensory modalities", NeuroImage Vol 58, 250258. [Crossref]
3. Brunstrom J. M., MacRae A. W., Roberts B. (1997). "Mouth-state dependent changes in the judged pleasantness of water at different temperatures", Physiol. Behav. Vol 61, 667669. [Crossref]
4. Chartier F. (2012). Taste Buds and Molecules: the Art and Science of Food, Wine, and Flavor. John Wiley and Sons, Hoboken, NJ, USA. (Levi Reiss, transl.).
5. Day S. (2005). "Some demographic and socio-cultural aspects of synaesthesia", in: Synesthesia: Perspectives From Cognitive Neuroscience, Robertson L. C., Sagviv N. (Eds), pp.  1113. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.
6. Deroy O., Crisinel A.-S., Spence C. (2013). "Crossmodal correspondences between odors and contingent features: odors, musical notes, and geometrical shapes", Psychonom. Bull. Rev. Vol 20, 878896. [Crossref]
7. Fenko A., Schifferstein H. N. J., Hekkert P. (2010). "Looking hot or feeling hot: what determines the product experience of warmth?", Mater. Des. Vol 31, 13251331. [Crossref]
8. Green B. G. (1992). "The sensory effects of I-menthol on human skin", Somatosens. Mot. Res. Vol 9, 235244. [Crossref]
9. Green B. G., Nachtigal D. (2012). "Somatosensory factors in taste perception: effects of active tasting and solution temperature", Physiol. Behav. Vol 107, 488495. [Crossref]
10. Guest S., Grabenhorst F., Essick G., Chen Y., Young M., McGlone F., de Araujo I., Rolls E. T. (2007). "Human cortical representation of oral temperature", Physiol. Behav. Vol 92, 975984. [Crossref]
11. Kadohisa M., Rolls E. T., Verhagen J. V. (2004). "Orbitofrontal cortex: neuronal representation of oral temperature and capsaicin in addition to taste and texture", Neuroscience Vol 127, 207221. [Crossref]
12. Knöferle K. M., Spence C. (2012). "Crossmodal correspondences between sounds and tastes", Psychonom. Bull. Rev. Vol 19, 9921006. [Crossref]
13. Knöferle K. M., Woods A., Käppler F., Spence C. (2015). "That sounds sweet: using crossmodal correspondences to communicate gustatory attributes", Psychol. Market. Vol 32, 107120. [Crossref]
14. Kosslyn S. M., Ganis G., Thompson W. L. (2001). "Neural foundations of imagery", Nat. Rev. Neurosci. Vol 2, 635642. [Crossref]
15. Krishna A., Morrin M., Sayin E. (2014). "Smellizing cookies and salivating: a focus on olfactory imagery", J. Consum. Res. Vol 41, 1834. [Crossref]
16. Levitan C. A., Charney S. A., Schloss K. B., Palmer S. E. (2015). "The smell of jazz: crossmodal correspondences between music, odor, and emotion", in: Cogsci 2015 Proceedings, pp.  13261331. Pasadena, CA, USA.
17. MacRae C. N., Raj R. S., Best S. B., Christian B. M., Miles L. K. (2013). "Imagined sensory experiences can shape person perception: it’s a matter of visual perspective", J. Exp. Soc. Psychol. Vol 49(3), 595598. [Crossref]
18. Michael G. A., Galich H., Relland S., Prud’hon S. (2010). "Hot colors: the nature and specificity of color-induced nasal thermal sensations", Behav. Brain Res. Vol 207, 418428. [Crossref]
19. Nagata H., Dalton P., Doolittle N., Breslin P. A. S. (2005). "Psychophysical isolation of the modality responsible for detecting multimodal stimuli: a chemosensory example", J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. Vol 31, 101109. [Crossref]
20. Royet J. P., Zald D., Versace R., Costes N., Lavenne F., Koenig O., Gervais R. (2000). "Emotional responses to pleasant and unpleasant olfactory, visual, and auditory stimuli: a positron emission tomography study", J. Neurosci. Vol 20, 77527759.
21. Sandick B. L., Engell D. B., Maller O. (1984). "Perception of drinking water temperature and effects for humans after exercise", Physiol. Behav. Vol 32, 851855. [Crossref]
22. Spence C., Wang Q. (J.) (2015). "Sensory expectations elicited by the sounds of opening the packaging and pouring a beverage", Flavour Vol 4, 35.
23. Takakura J., Nishimura T., Choi D., Egashira Y., Watanuki S. (2015). "Nonthermal sensory input and altered human thermoregulation: effects of visual information depicting hot or cold environments", Int. J. Biometeorol. Vol 59, 14531460. [Crossref]
24. Tipler P. A., Mosca G. (2008). Physics for Scientists and Engineers, Vol Vol. 1, 6th edn. Worth Publishers, New York, NY, USA.
25. Van der Zwaag M. D., Westerink J. H. D. M., Van den Broek E. L. (2011). "Emotional and psychophysiological responses to tempo, mode, and percussiveness", Mus. Sci. Vol 15, 250269.
26. Velasco C., Jones R., King S., Spence C. (2013a). "The sound of temperature: what information do pouring sounds convey concerning the temperature of a beverage", J. Sens. Stud. Vol 28, 335345. [Crossref]
27. Velasco C., Jones R., King S., Spence C. (2013b). “"Hot or cold?” On the informative value of auditory cues in the perception of the temperature of a beverage", in: (((ABA))) Audio Branding Academy Yearbook 2012/2013, Bronner K., Hirt R., Ringe C. (Eds), pp.  177187. Nomos, Baden-Baden, Germany.
28. Verhagen J. V., Engelen L. (2006). "The neurocognitive bases of human multimodal food perception: sensory integration", Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev. Vol 30, 613650. [Crossref]
29. Wang (Q.) J., Wang S., Spence C. (2016). "“Turn up the taste”: assessing the role of taste intensity and emotion in mediating crossmodal correspondences between basic tastes and pitch", Chem. Senses Vol 41, 345356. [Crossref]
30. Wastiels L., Schifferstein H. N. J., Heylighen S., Wouters I. (2012). "Red or rough, what makes materials warmer?" Mater. Des. Vol 43, 441449. [Crossref]
Submit comment
Comment moderation successfully completed


Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation