1999 volume 28(7) pages 903 – 923

Cite as:
Martino G, Marks L E, 1999, "Perceptual and linguistic interactions in speeded classification: tests of the semantic coding hypothesis" Perception 28(7) 903 – 923

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Perceptual and linguistic interactions in speeded classification: tests of the semantic coding hypothesis

Gail Martino, Lawrence E Marks

Received 30 October 1998, in final form 16 March 1999

Abstract. We tested the semantic coding hypothesis, which states that cross-modal interactions observed in speeded classification tasks arise after perceptual information is recoded into an abstract format common to perceptual and linguistic systems. Using a speeded classification task, we first confirmed the presence of congruence interactions between auditory pitch and visual light-;ness and observed Garner-type interference with nonlinguistic (perceptual) stimuli (low-frequency and high-frequency tones, black and white squares). Subsequently, we found that modifying the visual stimuli by (a) making them lexical (related words) or (b) reducing their compactness or figural 'goodness' altered congruence effects and Garner interference. The results are consistent with the semantic coding hypothesis, but only in part, and suggest the need for additional assumptions regarding the role of perceptual organization in cross-modal dimensional interactions.

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