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Cross-Modal Associations Between Color and Touch: Mapping Haptic and Tactile Terms to the Surface of the Munsell Color Solid

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For more content, see Seeing and Perceiving and Spatial Vision.

This study investigated cross-modal associations between color and touch using a matching task. Participants matched colors drawn from the surface of the Munsell color solid to antonym pairs of haptic/tactile adjectives. For most of the term pairs assessed (soft/hard, smooth/rough, flat/uneven, slippery/not slippery, light/heavy, thin/thick and round/sharp) matching appears predominantly influenced by lightness, with the first term from each pair matched to light colors and the other to dark colors, a result in close agreement with previous research. For two terms, warm and wet, there were clear influences of hue on task performance. There were also similarities between patterns of color matching to several of the haptic/tactile terms assessed and color matching to another term, dislike. This suggests valence may play a mediating role in cross-modal associations involving touch and color.

Affiliations: 1: 1Department of Psychology, Bahçeşehir University, Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey ; 2: 2Department of Philosophy, American University of Beirut, Lebanon

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

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