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Crossmodal correspondences as common ground for joint action

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  • Laura Schmitz, Leibniz Universität Hannover, Central European University, Tyskland
  • Günther Knoblich, Central European University
  • ,
  • Ophelia Deroy, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, München, University of London, Tyskland
  • Cordula Vesper
When performing joint actions, people rely on common ground – shared information that provides the required basis for mutual understanding. Common ground can be based on people's interaction history or on knowledge and expectations people share, e.g., because they belong to the same culture or social class. Here, we suggest that people rely on yet another form of common ground, one that originates in their similarities in multisensory processing. Specifically, we focus on ‘crossmodal correspondences’ – nonarbitrary associations that people make between stimulus features in different sensory modalities, e.g., between stimuli in the auditory and the visual modality such as high-pitched sounds and small objects. Going beyond previous research that focused on investigating crossmodal correspondences in individuals, we propose that people can use these correspondences for communicating and coordinating with others. Initial support for our proposal comes from a communication game played in a public space (an art gallery) by pairs of visitors. We observed that pairs created nonverbal communication systems by spontaneously relying on ‘crossmodal common ground’. Based on these results, we conclude that crossmodal correspondences not only occur within individuals but that they can also be actively used in joint action to facilitate the coordination between individuals.
TidsskriftActa Psychologica
Sider (fra-til)103222
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2021

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