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The Kiki-Bouba Paradigm : Where Senses Meet And Greet

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Humans have the ability to think in abstract ways. Experiments over the last 90 years have shown that stimuli from the external world can be evaluated on an abstract spectrum with 'Kiki' on one end and 'Bouba' on the other. People are in concordance with each other with respect to calling a jagged-edgy-sharp bordered two dimensional shape 'Kiki' and a curvy-smooth-round two dimensional shape 'Bouba'.. The proclivity of this correspondence is ubiquitous. Moreover, the Kiki-Bouba phenomenon seems to represent a non-arbitrary abstract connection between 2 or more stimuli. Studies have shown that cross-modal associations between and withinaudioception, opthalmoception, tactioception and gustatoception can be demonstrated by using Kiki-Bouba as a cognitive 'convergence point'. This review includes a critical assessment of the methods, findings, limitations, plausible explanations and future directions involving the Kiki-Bouba effect. Applications include creatingtreatments and training methods to compensate for poor abstract thinking abilities caused by disorders like schizophrenia and autism, for example. Continuing research in this area would help building a universal model of consciousness that fully incorporates cross-sensory perception at the biological and cognitive levels.
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... They presented participants with visual analogue scales (VAS) with spiky and rounded shapes as anchors and found that unpleasant and intense scents were associated with spiky shapes, while scents rated as pleasant and less intense were associated with rounded shapes. Kaeppler et al. [28] corroborated the same associations following the "kiki-bouba" paradigm [50]. Moreover, Jezler et al. [27] focused their work on the effect of scented materials on participants' physical creations, showing that lemon-scented sculptures have a higher number of spikes than vanilla-scented sculptures. ...
... In our study, it was presented on a screen and consisted of continuous scales ranging from 0 to 1 (step size of 0.005). Shapes were represented with visual illustrations following the "kiki-bouba" paradigm [50] as shown in Figure 2b. Similarly, body silhouettes were represented with body illustrations, following the study by Brianza et al. [10]. ...
Chapter
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It has long been known that our sense of smell is a powerful one that affects emotions and behaviors. Recently, interest in the sense of smell has been growing exponentially in HCI. However, the potential of smell to inspire design is still underexplored. In this paper, we first investigated crossmodal correspondences between scents and selected features relevant for design (clustered in sensory, bodily, and qualitative features). Then, we created a set of cards (EssCards) to visually summarize the key findings to inspire designers. We carried out two preliminary design exploration sessions using the EssCards. Based on our findings, we discuss how to inspire and challenge design opportunities around the sense of smell and reflect upon applications for smell as inspirational material for designing future interactions and experiences.
... A deficit in integrating auditory with sensory-motor information may prevent the establishment of motor schemes for speech, resulting in articulation errors unique to CAS (ASHA, 2017). Similarly, the BK effect requires the ability to integrate information from different modalities including visual, auditory, and sensorymotor (proprioceptive) information (e.g., Parise, 2015;Parise & Spence, 2012;Shukla, 2016). In other words, both speech production and the BK task require integration from different modalities, although not of the exactly the same input. ...
Article
Purpose The bouba-kiki (BK) effect refers to associations between visual shapes and auditory pseudonames. Thus, when tested, people tend to associate the pseudowords bouba and kiki with round or spiky shapes, respectively. This association requires cross-modal sensory integration. The ability to integrate information from different sensory modalities is crucial for speech development. A clinical population that may be impaired in cross-modal sensory integration is children with childhood apraxia of speech (CAS). The purpose of this study was to examine the involvement of cross-modal sensory integration in children with (CAS). Method The BK effect was assessed in participants with CAS ( n = 18) and two control groups: One control group was composed of children with developmental language disorder (DLD), also termed specific language impairment ( n = 15), and a second group included typically developing (TD) children ( n = 22). The children were presented with 14 pairs of novel visual displays and nonwords. All the children were asked to state which shape and nonword correspond to one another. In addition, background cognitive (Leiter-3) and language measures (Hebrew PLS-4) were determined for all children. Results Children in the CAS group were less successful in associating between visual shapes and corresponding auditory pseudonames (e.g., associating the spoken word “bouba” with a round shape; the spoken word “kiki” with a spiky shape). Thus, children with CAS demonstrated a statistically significant reduced BK effect compared with participants with TD and participants with DLD. No significant difference was found between the TD group and the DLD group. Conclusions The reduced BK effect in children with CAS supports the notion that cross-modal sensory integration may be altered in these children. Cross-modal sensory integration is the basis for speech production. Thus, difficulties in sensory integration may contribute to speech difficulties in CAS.
... Sobre ideaestesia y el efecto kiki-bouba, otros investigadores (Shukla, 2016) han obtenido resultados que van en la línea de los de Milán et ál. (2013) sobre as asociaciones entre kiki y bouba y diferentes tipos de movimientos. ...
... According to Shukla (Shukla, 2016a), the possibility of "inventing novel teaching methods" which would take advantage of the Kiki-Bouba effect to reinforce the cross-modal integration of abstract concepts could significantly improve education: ...
Preprint
The term uniskript was coined to refer to a class of phonologically engineered alphabets that employ visual-featural indexicality combined with sound-shape congruency to represent speech. In this working paper, I introduce the uniskript methodology, an alphabet generator technique that uses indices instead of symbols to represent the flow of speech. I refer to the Peircean theory of signs to explain the crucial semiotic distinction between uniskript and the traditional alphabets: in uniskript, an icon resembling relevant articulatory features of a given phoneme is used to index sound to shape. I also indicate how the findings in sound-symbolism were incorporated into the indices to facilitate cross-modal correspondences. I propose that uniskript indexical nature and sensorial mappings can explain why it is so much easier to learn than symbolic and sensory incongruent alphabets. I then briefly discuss how the study of uniskript alphabets can shed some light on the role of cross-modal correspondences in learning. It can also bring a deeper understanding of the role of phonology in sound symbolism. Finally, I refer to some applications of uniskript in the teaching of literacy and in remediating reading issues and illustrate the entire concept by introducing a uniskript alphabet developed as a tool to teach pronunciation in an ESL program. keywords: uniskript, alphabets, sound symbolism, sound-shape iconicity, cross-modal congruency, phonology, second language learning, pronunciation in L2
... Por simbolismo sonoro entende-se a capacidade natural que os sons possuem de carregar significados independentes. Como afirma Shukla (2016), "congruence between a sound and a certain feature of a referent would make that sound more likely to be used in naming that referent. This characteristic called 'iconicity' is largely implicated in giving people the ability to make 'Kiki-Bouba' discrimination" (p. ...
Conference Paper
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The Kiki-Bouba Effect refers to one of the first tests involving the correspondence between perceptual senses developed in the context of Gestalt psychology. The link between the words kiki and bouba and two images in different forms has provided evidence of a connection between linguist/sonorous and visual stimuli, demonstrating the human capacity to perceive forms sonically through a non-arbitrary correlation between auditory and visual senses. O Kiki-Bouba Effect has raised questions about how different sensory modalities interrelate in terms of perception and knowledge, giving rise to the study of intermodal correspondences. Considering the musical experience as essentially multisensory nature, it is questioned whether the Kiki-Bouba Effect occurs in situations of musical character and may constitute a relevant paradigm for the study of the musical phenomenon. The current work provides an overview of this paradigm based on a bibliographic reference review in four databases online, namely PsycNET/ APA, of the American Psychological Association, the ERIC and SAGE JOURNAL platforms, and GOOGLE SCHOLAR. The results show that the Kiki-Bouba Effect is transversal to several areas of knowledge, being approached in studies on intermodal correspondences between sensory and cognitive aspects, in terms of language, sound symbolism, perception and synesthesia. Nevertheless, there are problems that are yet to be identified, for example, the relation of the Kiki-Bouba Effect with body movement and with specific dimensions of musical listening.
... In Study 1 we investigated the existence of scent and body shape associations using 2D body silhouettes (Figure 2b). We used a VAS to test the relationship between lemon and vanilla, previously associated with spiky and rounded shapes [49,19,45], and thin and thick body silhouettes. As both scents were known to be pleasant (positive valence), we added civet as an unpleasant scent (negative valence) to remove the confound of valence. ...
Conference Paper
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How people mentally represent their body appearance (i.e., body image perception - BIP) does not always match their actual body. BIP distortions can lead to a detriment in physical and emotional health. Recent works in HCI have shown that technology can be used to change people’s BIP through visual, tactile, proprioceptive, and auditory stimulation. This paper investigates, for the first time, the effect of olfactory stimuli, by looking at a possible enhancement of a known auditory effect on BIP. We present two studies building on emerging knowledge in the field of crossmodal correspondences. First, we explored the correspondences between scents and body shapes. Then, we investigated the impact of combined scents and sounds on one’s own BIP. Our results show that scent stimuli can be used to make participants feel lighter or heavier (i.e., using lemon or vanilla) and to enhance the effect of sound on perceived body lightness. We discuss how these findings can inform future research and design directions to overcome body misperception and create novel augmented and embodied experiences.
... In Study 1 we investigated the existence of scent and body shape associations using 2D body silhouettes (Figure 2b). We used a VAS to test the relationship between lemon and vanilla, previously associated with spiky and rounded shapes [49,19,45], and thin and thick body silhouettes. As both scents were known to be pleasant (positive valence), we added civet as an unpleasant scent (negative valence) to remove the confound of valence. ...
Chapter
How people mentally represent their body appearance (i.e., body image perception - BIP) does not always match their actual body. BIP distortions can lead to a detriment in physical and emotional health. Recent works in HCI have shown that technology can be used to change people’s BIP through visual, tactile, proprioceptive, and auditory stimulation. This paper investigates, for the first time, the effect of olfactory stimuli, by looking at a possible enhancement of a known auditory effect on BIP. We present two studies building on emerging knowledge in the field of crossmodal correspondences. First, we explored the correspondences between scents and body shapes. Then, we investigated the impact of combined scents and sounds on one’s own BIP. Our results show that scent stimuli can be used to make participants feel lighter or heavier (i.e., using lemon or vanilla) and to enhance the effect of sound on perceived body lightness. We discuss how these findings can inform future research and design directions to overcome body misperception and create novel augmented and embodied experiences.
... This was achieved by testing ASD participants and matched controls. Participants were presented with the bouba-kiki task which taps into auditory-visual cross-modal processing (Drijvers, Zaadnoordijk, & Dingemanse, 2015;Shukla, 2016). In addition, AQ scores were obtained for all participants as well as other cognitive measures including visual attention, non-verbal IQ and expressive vocabulary. ...
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Sound symbolism theory asserts that vocal sounds have a meaning independently of the words in which they occur. A striking example of this theory is the bouba/kiki effect which shows that non-sense words are non-randomly mapped onto unknown round or spiky shapes. While many studies have focused on the psychological reality of this phenomenon, only a few have tried to explain it. After showing that both vowels and consonants composing the pseudowords modulated the association with round or spiky shapes, we tried to assess the automaticity of this effect in speeded classification tasks. For the first time we found behavioral evidence that this effect could be due to cross-modal integration. We also report brain imaging results obtained during passive presentation of shapes, pseudowords or matching and mismatching pairs of shapes and pseudowords. We observed an increased activation for mismatching pairs of stimuli compared with matching stimuli in frontal cortices, which could reflect an incongruency effect. In addition, we found a difference of activation between matching and mismatching pairs correlated with a behavioral index of sensitivity to the effect in lateral occipital cortex. We discuss these results in the light of hypotheses concerning the bouba/kiki effect.
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