Modality exclusivity norms for 423 object properties

Dermot Lynott, Louise Connell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recent work has shown that people routinely use perceptual information during language comprehension and conceptual processing, from single-word recognition to modality-switching costs in property verification. In investigating such links between perceptual and conceptual representations, the use of modality-specific stimuli plays a central role. To aid researchers working in this area, we provide a set of norms for 423 adjectives, each describing an object property, with mean ratings of how strongly that property is experienced through each of five perceptual modalities (visual, haptic, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory). The data set also contains estimates of modality exclusivity-that is, a measure of the extent to which a particular property may be considered unimodal (i.e., perceived through one sense alone). Although there already exists a number of sets of word and object norms, we provide the first set to categorize words describing object properties along the dimensions of the five perceptual modalities. We hope that the norms will be of use to researchers working at the interface between linguistic, conceptual, and perceptual systems. The modality exclusivity norms may be downloaded as supplemental materials for this article from © 2009 The Psychonomic Society, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)558-564
Number of pages6
JournalBehavior Research Methods
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2009


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