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    The present study aimed to investigate whether or not the so-called "bouba-kiki" effect is mediated by speech-specific representations. Sine-wave versions of naturally produced pseudowords were used as auditory stimuli in an implicit association task (IAT) and an explicit cross-modal matching (CMM) task to examine cross-modal shape-sound correspondences. A group of participants trained to hear the sine-wave stimuli as speech was compared to a group that heard them as non-speech sounds. Sound-shape correspondence effects were observed in both groups and tasks, indicating that speech-specific processing is not fundamental to the "bouba-kiki" phenomenon. Effects were similar across groups in the IAT, while in the CMM task the speech-mode group showed a stronger effect compared with the non-speech group. This indicates that, while both tasks reflect auditory-visual associations, only the CMM task is additionally sensitive to associations involving speech-specific representations.


    Daniel Márcio Rodrigues Silva, Samuel C Bellini-Leite. Cross-modal correspondences in sine wave: Speech versus non-speech modes. Attention, perception & psychophysics. 2020 Jun;82(3):944-953

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    PMID: 31414363

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