Re: Height and pitch (Yoav Arieh )

Subject: Re: Height and pitch
From:    Yoav Arieh  <yarieh(at)JBPIERCE.ORG>
Date:    Mon, 17 Feb 2003 23:25:07 -0500

Hi, This is a good question. The origin of the so-called "spatial stereotypes" (Mudd, 1963) for stimulus dimension is not clear. Pitch is associated with the vertical plane but also with the horizontal plane - High pitch is usually placed to the left of low pitch. Notice that this arrangement is consistent with the layout of a keyboard. However, other factors might play a role. Factors like semantic congruence between the word "HIGH" and the description - high pitch. But again, some of these spatial stereotypes have been found among young children without musical training and in some cases without well-developed semantic system. And, of course, there are these cases, admittedly few, of people showing the opposite preferences - associating high pith with low spatial position. -Yoav Yoav Arieh PhD J. B. Pierce Laboratory and Yale University

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