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January 2022

Cross-modal correspondence between vision and olfaction: The color of smells

Author(s): Martin, R., Kemp, S. E.

Journal/Book: Amer J Psychol. 1996; 109: 1325 S Oak St, Champaign, IL 61820. Univ Illinois Press. 335-351.

Abstract: Cross-modal sensory correspondences between vision and audition have been well described, but those between vision and olfaction have not. In Experiment 1, a method previously used to relate color names, mood names, and line elements was replicated and extended to describe odors by color. Significant color characterizations were found for all 20 test odors. Test-retest correlations showed color-odor correspondences to be as stable as nonodor measures after 2 years. In Experiment 2, new subjects matched Munsell color chips to the test odors. Thirteen odors bad characteristic hues; there was significant variation in chroma and value. The selelcted Munsell hues corresponded to the color names endorsed in Experiment 1. Together, these experiments suggest the existence of robust correspondences between vision and olfaction.

Note: Article AN Gilbert, Synesthet Inc, 113 Inwood Ave, Montclair, NJ 07043 USA


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