Ozgen E, Davies I, 1998, "Categorical effects in colour perception: cross-language differences and category learning" Perception 27 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Categorical effects in colour perception: cross-language differences and category learning
E Ozgen, I Davies
The hallmarks of categorical perception are enhanced cross-category discriminability and reduced within-category discriminability. We have previously shown, using a successive same - different task, that speakers of English show categorical effects across the blue - green boundary, whereas speakers of languages with a generic blue - green (grue) category show no such effect (Davies et al, 1996 Perception 25 Supplement, 102). We explored the nature of the categorical effect further by using both a successive and a simultaneous same - different task. We assume that the perceptual component of the task is highest for simultaneous presentation, whereas the memory load is highest for successive presentation. English speakers showed a categorical effect under both conditions, whereas speakers of languages with a grue term showed no such effect in either condition. In experiment 2 we tried to induce a category effect within a pre-existing category (either blue or green). Subjects were trained on four successive days to categorise the stimuli into two adjacent non-overlapping sets in colour space based on either hue differences or lightness differences. On the fifth day we sought for categorical effects using the same - different task and for transfer of learning to a new stimulus set. Subjects showed more accurate judgments to the dimension they were trained on (hue or lightness) than to the other dimension, and they showed enhanced cross-category discrimination. Learning did not transfer to new stimuli. Colour perception in adults can be changed through training, and category effects can be induced within well-established categories.
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