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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2014
  • pp: A322–A331

Color categories only affect post-perceptual processes when same- and different-category colors are equally discriminable

Xun He, Christoph Witzel, Lewis Forder, Alexandra Clifford, and Anna Franklin  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 31, Issue 4, pp. A322-A331 (2014)

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Prior claims that color categories affect color perception are confounded by inequalities in the color space used to equate same- and different-category colors. Here, we equate same- and different-category colors in the number of just-noticeable differences, and measure event-related potentials (ERPs) to these colors on a visual oddball task to establish if color categories affect perceptual or post-perceptual stages of processing. Category effects were found from 200 ms after color presentation, only in ERP components that reflect post-perceptual processes (e.g., N2, P3). The findings suggest that color categories affect post-perceptual processing, but do not affect the perceptual representation of color.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision
(330.5020) Vision, color, and visual optics : Perception psychology
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics

ToC Category:
Unique hues and color categories

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 13, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: January 6, 2014
Published: February 27, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Xun He, Christoph Witzel, Lewis Forder, Alexandra Clifford, and Anna Franklin, "Color categories only affect post-perceptual processes when same- and different-category colors are equally discriminable," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 31, A322-A331 (2014)

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