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Thresholds for color discrimination in English and Korean speakers

Roberson, Debi and Hanley, J Richard and Pak, Hyensou (2009) 'Thresholds for color discrimination in English and Korean speakers.' Cognition, 112 (3). pp. 482-487. ISSN 0010-0277

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Categorical perception (CP) is said to occur when a continuum of equally spaced physical changes is perceived as unequally spaced as a function of category membership (Harnad, S. (Ed.) (1987). Psychophysical and cognitive aspects of categorical perception: A critical overview. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press). A common suggestion is that CP for color arises because perception is qualitatively distorted when we learn to categorize a dimension. Contrary to this view, we here report that English speakers show no evidence of lowered discrimination thresholds at the boundaries between blue and green categories even though CP is found at these boundaries in a supra-threshold task. Furthermore, there is no evidence of different discrimination thresholds between individuals from two language groups (English and Korean) who use different color terminology in the blue-green region and have different supra-threshold boundaries. Our participants' just noticeable difference (JND) thresholds suggest that they retain a smooth continuum of perceptual space that is not warped by stretching at category boundaries or by within-category compression. At least for the domain of color, categorical perception appears to be a categorical, but not a perceptual phenomenon. © 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Color categories; Cultural relativity; Discrimination thresholds; Just-noticeable-difference; Perception
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Science and Health
Faculty of Science and Health > Psychology, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 11 Nov 2011 11:32
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 10:59

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