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Categorical perception effects reflect differences in typicality on within-category trials

Hanley, J Richard and Roberson, Debi (2011) 'Categorical perception effects reflect differences in typicality on within-category trials.' Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 18 (2). pp. 355-363. ISSN 1069-9384

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Many studies have shown better discrimination of two stimuli that cross a category boundary than of two stimuli belonging to the same category. This finding, known as categorical perception, is generally assumed to reflect consistently good performance on cross-category trials, relative to within-category trials. However, Roberson, D., Damjanovic, L., and Pilling, M. (Memory & Cognition, 35, 1814-1829, 2007) revealed that performance on within-category pairs of morphed facial expressions matched performance on cross-category trials when the target was a good exemplar of its category. Here, we investigate the generality of that finding by conducting new analyses of data from a series of studies of categorical perception in facial identity and color domains with speakers of different languages. Consistent with Roberson et al. (2007), the new analyses demonstrate that performance for central targets on within-category trials is as good as performance on cross-category trials. Participants perform badly on within-category items only when the target is closer to the category boundary than is the distractor. These results provide no support for the view that categorical perception is associated with increased perceptual sensitivity at category boundaries. © 2010 Psychonomic Society, Inc.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Categorical perception; Color; Face identity; Facial expressions of emotion
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: 24 Nov 2011 13:36
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2022 11:00

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