Semantic Congruence and Perception: An Experimental Investigation

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Francesco Luciano Spilotros
  • Emmanuel Parzy
4. term, Medialogy, Master (Master Programme)
This study will analyze the phenomenon of semantic congruence in the frame of perceptual studies. Semantic congruence is a concept that has been in the last years more and more in the focus of perceptual studies. It starts to be considered as an important top-down factor of perception, emphasizing consequently the importance of memory and past experience in perceptual processes. A particular theory of perception from Hermann Von Helmholtz, the theory of unconscious inference, is also placing past experience at the heart of human perception.

This study attempts to prove that the semantic congruence is compatible with the theory of unconscious inference, and can even be a central concept. It is also argued in this report that semantic congruence and the building of semantic links between stimuli is a main objective in perceptual processes.

After an analysis of semantic congruence as it has been studied in perceptual studies and a definition of this concept, an experiment on the effects of semantic congruence and incongruence on the localization of a sound source was conducted. It was observed that an auditory stimulus semantically congruent with the object at its source was more accurately localized than an abstract audio stimulus. Nevertheless, the experimental design used did not allow the observation of any expected semantic incongruence effect.
LanguageEnglish
Publication date28 May 2010
Number of pages75
Publishing institutionAalborg University Copenhagen
ID: 32015323