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Title: Exploring the mechanisms that underlie the crossmodal correspondences between shapes and tastes
Author: Montejo, Alejandro Salgado
ISNI:       0000 0004 7230 5217
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis consists of one theoretical chapter, three experimental chapters, and a final concluding chapter. Eight studies were conducted in total, two of these studies (studies 1-2, Chapter 2) evaluated whether visual aesthetic features (i.e., symmetry, curvature, and the number of elements) influenced how shapes and objects are matched to a valence and to a taste word (i.e., sweet or sour). The evidence reported in Chapter 2 demonstrates that symmetrical / asymmetrical, rounded / angular, and shapes with fewer / more elements are more likely to be matched with a positive / negative valance and to sweetness / sourness. The relationship between valence and shape-taste matching is discussed and challenged. Three different studies (studies 3-7, Chapter 3) analysed whether simple dots and lines that resemble facial features (i.e., eyes and mouth) could be associated with an emotional valence and an emotion, as well as to a specific taste word (i.e., sweet, sour, or bitter). The results reported in Chapter 3 confirm that it is possible to reduce a facial feature to its simplest form (i.e., a line and a dot) and still be associated with a specific valence and emotion. Furthermore, Study 7 demonstrates that dots and lines that resemble eyes and mouths can influence taste expectations (i.e., how sweet, sour, or bitter they predict a product will be). Chapter 4, comprises a short study that provides initial evidence that facial expressions of joy, disgust and anger can influence the perceived intensity of a taste (i.e., sweet, sour, and bitter). The role of embodied cognition in the crossmodal correspondences between shapes and tastes is discussed. Finally, in Chapter 5, the importance of associative learning, the role of evolution in our ability to detect patterns, and embodied cognition are presented as potential mechanisms that explain how it is that shapes are matched to tastes.
Supervisor: Spence, Charles Sponsor: Colciencias
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available