: Humans spontaneously match information coming from different senses, in what we call crossmodal associations. For instance, high-pitched sounds are preferentially associated with small objects, and low-pitched sounds with larger ones. Although previous studies reported crossmodal associations in mammalian species, evidence for other taxa is scarce, hindering an evolutionary understanding of this phenomenon. Here, we provide evidence of pitch-size correspondence in a reptile, the tortoise Testudo hermanni. Tortoises showed a spontaneous preference to associate a small disc (i.e. visual information about size) with a high-pitch sound (i.e. auditory information) and a larger disc to a low-pitched sound. These results suggest that crossmodal associations may be an evolutionary ancient phenomenon, potentially an organizing principle of the vertebrate brain.

Crossmodal association between visual and acoustic cues in a tortoise (Testudo hermanni)

Loconsole, Maria
;
2023

Abstract

: Humans spontaneously match information coming from different senses, in what we call crossmodal associations. For instance, high-pitched sounds are preferentially associated with small objects, and low-pitched sounds with larger ones. Although previous studies reported crossmodal associations in mammalian species, evidence for other taxa is scarce, hindering an evolutionary understanding of this phenomenon. Here, we provide evidence of pitch-size correspondence in a reptile, the tortoise Testudo hermanni. Tortoises showed a spontaneous preference to associate a small disc (i.e. visual information about size) with a high-pitch sound (i.e. auditory information) and a larger disc to a low-pitched sound. These results suggest that crossmodal associations may be an evolutionary ancient phenomenon, potentially an organizing principle of the vertebrate brain.
2023
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/3488520
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