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Is Front associated with Above and Back with Below? Association between Allocentric Representations of Spatial Dimensions

journal contribution
posted on 2024-05-15, 17:50 authored by Lari Vainio, Martti Vainio

Previous research has revealed congruency effects between different spatial dimensions such as right and up. In the audiovisual context, high-pitched sounds are associated with the spatial dimensions of up/above and front, while low-pitched sounds are associated with the spatial dimensions of down/below and back. This opens the question of whether there could also be a spatial association between above and front and/or below and back. Participants were presented with a high- or low-pitch stimulus at the time of the onset of the visual stimulus. In one block, participants responded according to the above/below location of the visual target stimulus if the target appeared in front of the reference object, and in the other block, they performed these above/below responses if the target appeared at the back of the reference. In general, reaction times revealed an advantage in processing the target location in the front–above and back–below locations. The front–above/back–below effect was more robust concerning the back–below component of the effect, and significantly larger in reaction times that were slower rather than faster than the median value of a participant. However, the pitch did not robustly influence responding to front/back or above/below locations. We propose that this effect might be based on the conceptual association between different spatial dimensions.


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