High-pitch sounds small for domestic dogs: abstract crossmodal correspondences between auditory pitch and visual size

Korzeniowska, A T, Simner, J, Root-Gutteridge, H and Reby, D (2022) High-pitch sounds small for domestic dogs: abstract crossmodal correspondences between auditory pitch and visual size. Royal Society Open Science, 9 (2). pp. 1-10. ISSN 2054-5703

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Abstract

Humans possess intuitive associations linking certain non-redundant features of stimuli - e.g. high-pitched sounds with small object size (or similarly, low-pitched sounds with large object size). This phenomenon, known as crossmodal correspondence, has been identified in humans across multiple different senses. There is some evidence that non-human animals also form crossmodal correspondences, but the known examples are mostly limited to the associations between the pitch of vocalizations and the size of callers. To investigate whether domestic dogs, like humans, show abstract pitch-size association, we first trained dogs to approach and touch an object after hearing a sound emanating from it. Subsequently, we repeated the task but presented dogs with two objects differing in size, only one of which was playing a sound. The sound was either high or low pitched, thereby creating trials that were either congruent (high pitch from small object; low pitch from large objects) or incongruent (the reverse). We found that dogs reacted faster on congruent versus incongruent trials. Moreover, their accuracy was at chance on incongruent trials, but significantly above chance for congruent trials. Our results suggest that non-human animals show abstract pitch sound correspondences, indicating these correspondences may not be uniquely human but rather a sensory processing feature shared by other species.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: correspondences, crossmodal, dog, pitch, size
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
SWORD Depositor: Mx Elements Account
Depositing User: Mx Elements Account
Date Deposited: 27 May 2022 16:27
Last Modified: 27 May 2022 16:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/106150

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