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Impact Factor:0.906
Source:2014 Journal Citation Reports® (Thomson Reuters, 2015)

A Sweet Sound? Food Names Reveal Implicit Associations between Taste and Pitch

  1. Anne-Sylvie Crisinel
  2. Charles Spence
  1. Crossmodal Research Laboratory, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3UD, UK
  1. e-mail: anne-sylvie.crisinel{at}psy.ox.ac.uk


Sounds (high- and low-pitched) have been shown to be implicitly associated with basic tastes (sour and bitter—see Crisinel and Spence, 2009 Neuroscience Letters 464 39–42). In the present study, a version of the implicit association test was used to assess the strength of the association between high-pitched sounds and names of sweet-tasting foodstuffs, and between low-pitched sounds and names of salty-tasting foodstuffs (experiment 1). A similar task, the go/no-go association task was then used to evaluate the relative strengths of these associations (experiment 2). Analysis of the sensitivity of participants' responses suggested that both sour- and sweet-tasting (names of) food items were associated with high-pitched sounds. This result highlights the existence of robust cross-modal associations between certain sounds and basic tastes.

  • Received September 13, 2009.
  • Revision received December 15, 2009.
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