Cross-sensory correspondences : cross-activation of connotative feature dimensions through the felt heaviness of lifted objects

Scallon, Gabrielle and Walker, Peter and Francis, Brian (2018) Cross-sensory correspondences : cross-activation of connotative feature dimensions through the felt heaviness of lifted objects. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

[thumbnail of 2018ScallonPhD]
PDF (2018ScallonPhD)
2018ScallonPhD.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs.

Download (3MB)


Cross-sensory correspondences are the systematic associations demonstrated to arise between various feature dimensions such that their relative extremes are aligned. It has been proposed that correspondences arise as a result of cross-talk between abstract, amodal connotations of a core set of feature dimensions (P. Walker, 2016). Although there is some evidence to suggest that a dimension denoting heaviness may be included among a set of aligned feature dimension, the evidence to demonstrate this is limited. The present work explores whether heaviness, as received through the lifting of weighted objects, may enter into this scheme of correspondences. In addition, the separate contributions of the heaviness and size of lifted objects to the cross-activation of other feature dimensions is also considered. The influences of size and heaviness were explored in light of the size-weight illusion; a phenomenon where the size of equally weighted objects alters their felt heaviness such that the smaller object is experienced to be heavier than the larger object. A series of rating scale tasks were conducted, examining whether heaviness can induce predicted correspondences with other feature dimensions. It was demonstrated that heavier objects were consistently aligned with dark and low pitch. Further confirmation for these mappings was sought through a series of speeded classification tasks. The heaviness-brightness mapping was demonstrated to influence response speed in a brightness classification task, where objects varying in heaviness were used as response keys. In both rating scale and speeded classification tasks, the heaviness-brightness correspondence continued to form the basis of cross-sensory interactions despite the potential for a size-brightness correspondence. The present work confirms that cross-activation between dimensions can be accessed through the manipulation of felt objects. What is more, support is provided for a framework of aligned feature dimensions, their conceptual nature and the inclusion of heaviness among this proposed network of dimensions.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
ID Code:
Deposited By:
Deposited On:
30 May 2018 14:28
Last Modified:
03 Jun 2024 23:31