Experimental Brain Research

, Volume 220, Issue 3–4, pp 319–333 | Cite as

Audiovisual crossmodal correspondences and sound symbolism: a study using the implicit association test

  • Cesare V. PariseEmail author
  • Charles Spence
Research Article


A growing body of empirical research on the topic of multisensory perception now shows that even non-synaesthetic individuals experience crossmodal correspondences, that is, apparently arbitrary compatibility effects between stimuli in different sensory modalities. In the present study, we replicated a number of classic results from the literature on crossmodal correspondences and highlight the existence of two new crossmodal correspondences using a modified version of the implicit association test (IAT). Given that only a single stimulus was presented on each trial, these results rule out selective attention and multisensory integration as possible mechanisms underlying the reported compatibility effects on speeded performance. The crossmodal correspondences examined in the present study all gave rise to very similar effect sizes, and the compatibility effect had a very rapid onset, thus speaking to the automatic detection of crossmodal correspondences. These results are further discussed in terms of the advantages of the IAT over traditional techniques for assessing the strength and symmetry of various crossmodal correspondences.


Multisensory perception Audition Vision Crossmodal correspondences Sound symbolism Implicit association test 



Cesare Parise was supported by the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, Tübingen, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF; FKZ: 01GQ1002).

Supplementary material

Supplementary material 1 (MPG 161 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Experimental PsychologyUniversity of OxfordOxfordUK
  2. 2.Max Planck Institute for Biological CyberneticsTübingenGermany
  3. 3.Bernstein Centre for Computational NeuroscienceTübingenGermany
  4. 4.Department of Cognitive Neuroscience and Center of Excellence Cognitive Interaction Technology (CITEC)University of BielefeldBielefeldGermany

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