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Re: cross-modality-size-loud

Dear all,

I think it's important to segregate the contribution of exciter (or non sounding object) and resonator (or sounding object).

I run an experiment where people estimated the size of balls (i.e., a non sounding object) that were dropped upon a plate (i.e., a sounding object). In the experiment I varied either balls' mass (i.e., the size) or plates' diameter.

Size estimates had a very high correlation with the sound's power, therefore with the sound's loundness (r^2 between sound's power and size estimate were between .97 and .99). The correlation between spectral centroid (an good candidate for an "estimate of pitch" if you like) and size were lower (.92. to .97).

Therefore, there is, for a peculiar class of objects (i.e., non sounding objects), a link between size and loudness.

Grassi, M. (2005). Do we hear size or sound: balls dropped on plates. Perception & Psychophysics, 67(2), 274-284.

Does anyone know of experimental psychological data reported which refutes (or not) the hypothesis: the perception of object O as “has /much/ of quality X” predisposes to the perception also of “has /much/ of quality Y”? E.g., is there empirical evidence for cross-modal bonds like "large objects (much of size) are loud objects (much of sound)" ?

Although I see brain research approaching the subject (e.g. http://www.dhushara.com/pdf/synesthesia.pdf) I have not (yet) found so much empirical psychology about such metaphors. I may not have studied carefully enough the synaestesia literature, but appreciate any more specific ‘forwardings’ then.

Pieter Jan Stallen / Chair Community Noise Annoyance / University of Leiden / Netherlands

Massimo Grassi - PhD
Dipartimento di Psicologia Generale
Via Venezia 8 - 35131 Padova - Italy