Using Single Colors and Color Pairs to Communicate Basic Tastes II: Foreground-Background Color Combinations

Andy T Woods, Fernando Marmolejo-Ramos, Carlos Velasco, Charles Spence

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


People associate basic tastes (e.g., sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) with specific colors (e.g., pink or red, green or yellow, black or purple, and white or blue). In the present study, we investigated whether a color bordered by another color (either the same or different) would give rise to stronger taste associations relative to a single patch of color. We replicate previous findings, highlighting the existence of a robust crossmodal correspondence between individual colors and basic tastes. On occasion, color pairs were found to communicate taste expectations more consistently than were single color patches. Furthermore, and in contrast to a recent study in which the color pairs were shown side-by-side, participants took no longer to match the color pairs with tastes than the single colors (they had taken twice as long to respond to the color pairs in the previous study). Possible reasons for these results are discussed, and potential applications for the results, and for the testing methodology developed, are outlined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2041669516663750
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

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