September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Texture-Color Associations in Non-synesthetes
Author Affiliations
  • Jose Hatem
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Joshua Peterson
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Thomas Langlois
    University of California, Berkeley
  • Stephen Palmer
    University of California, Berkeley
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 131. doi:
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      Jose Hatem, Joshua Peterson, Thomas Langlois, Stephen Palmer; Texture-Color Associations in Non-synesthetes. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):131. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Previous work has revealed that non-synesthetes exhibit cross-modal music-to-color associations that appear to be mediated by emotion: e.g., people chose happy-looking colors as going best with happy-sounding music and angry-looking colors as going best with angry-sounding music (Palmer et al., 2013). A series of further studies revealed that music-to-texture associations (Langlois et al., VSS-2014; Peterson et al., VSS-2014) and shape-to-color associations (Malfatti et al., VSS-2014) also appear to be mediated by emotion, although non-emotional mediators are present as well. Here we show that emotional mediation generalizes to cross-modal associations from visual texture to color and from color to visual texture. We used the 37 colors of the Berkeley Color Project: saturated, desaturated, light, and dark shades of 8 hues (red/orange/yellow/chartreuse/green/cyan/blue/purple), plus white, black, and 3 grays. The textures consisted of the same 28 simple line-based textures generated by Langlois et al. (VSS-2014). In the color-to-texture condition, participants viewed each color individually and selected the three textures that were most consistent with it and then the three textures that were least consistent. Participants then rated each texture and each color individually on 5 emotional dimensions (e.g., happy/sad, angry/not-angry) and 5 non-emotional dimensions (e.g., safe/harmful, sharp/smooth). For each dimension, we computed an index of the color-texture associations (CTAs) as a weighted average of the relevant emotional (e.g. happy/sad) or non-emotional (e.g., sharp/smooth) ratings of the 6 textures chosen as going best/worst with each color. In the texture-to-color condition, each texture was shown individually, and participants selected the three colors that were most (and later, least) consistent with it, from which we computed an index of the texture-color associations (TCAs) in an analogous manner to the CTAs. Consistent with previous results, participants in both conditions reliably associated colors and textures that have similar emotional content for most of the emotional dimensions.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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