Color-shape associations in deaf and hearing people

Na Chen, Kanji Tanaka, Miki Namatame, Katsumi Watanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


Studies have contended that neurotypical Japanese individuals exhibit consistent color-shape associations (red-circle, yellow-triangle, and blue-square) and those color-shape associations could be constructed by common semantic information between colors and shapes through learning and/or language experiences. Here, we conducted two experiments using a direct questionnaire survey and an indirect behavioral test (Implicit Association Test), to examine whether the construction of color-shape associations entailed phonological information by comparing color-shape associations in deaf and hearing participants. The results of the direct questionnaire showed that deaf and hearing participants had similar patterns of color-shape associations (red-circle, yellow-triangle, and blue-square). However, deaf participants failed to show any facilitated processing of congruent pairs in the IAT tasks as hearing participants did. The present results suggest that color-shape associations in deaf participants may not be strong enough to be proved by the indirect behavior tasks and relatively weaker in comparison to hearing participants. Thus, phonological information likely plays a role in the construction of color-shape associations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number355
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - Mar 15 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Psychology


Dive into the research topics of 'Color-shape associations in deaf and hearing people'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this