Sensory Similarity (07-15-19)

A study published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society Bindicates that there are important similarities in emotional responses to a range of real world experiences.  A press release issued by Dartmouth related to the research efforts, lead by Sievers, states that “Death metal band logos often have a spiky look while romance novel titles often have a swirly script. The jaggedness or curviness of a font can be used to express an emotional tone. . . . sounds, shapes, speech and body movements convey emotional arousal the same way across the senses. The findings explain why nearly anything can have an emotional tone, including art, architecture and music. . . . [for example] ‘spiky shapes seem to convey higher arousal [energy level] than rounded shapes’ [quote attributed to study senior author Wheatley].. . . Participants were asked to draw shapes that were angry, sad, excited, or peaceful. The researchers then estimated the spectral centroids of the drawings by counting how many corners they had. The results revealed that angry and excited shapes had between 17 and 24 corners on average, while sad and peaceful shapes had between 7 and 9 corners on average.”

“How Sounds, Shapes, Speech and Body Movements Convey Emotion Through One Shared Property.”  2019. Press release, Dartmouth College,