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The biological bases of colour categorisation: from goldfish to the human brain

The biological bases of colour categorisation: from goldfish to the human brain
The biological bases of colour categorisation: from goldfish to the human brain
How are colour categories related to perception and language? To answer this question, we review research on the neural correlates of colour categories, and categorical responses in preverbal infants and non-human animals. With respect to language, the reviewed findings suggest that colour categorisation often involves automatic language processing. At the same time, evidence from non-human animals, infants, and patients with brain lesions indicates that colour categorisation may also occur in the absence of language. Concerning perception, there is little convincing evidence that the bottom-up processes of colour perception are the origin of colour categories. Instead, colour categorisation might simply build upon the continuous colour perception and interact with perception through the direction of attention to colour differences that are relevant to categorisation. We make three suggestions for future research. First, future research in all areas requires methodological improvements, in particular in stimulus control. Second, future research should overcome the universalist-realist debate and go beyond a simple contrast between perception and language. Third, the link between object colours and colour categories provides an alternative approach that might reveal the ecological origin of colour categories. The ecological approach promises establishing evolutionary and developmental continuity between categorical responses in non-human animals, infants and adult humans.
0010-9452
82-106
Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna
d93fd047-a59c-492c-ac0a-cf1710649ebd
Boros, Marianna
32233981-782a-44b2-9fba-c5612bb5d1de
Bartolomeo, Paolo
3daa2e84-0393-40cb-a44b-e665c93c12b0
Witzel, Christoph
dfb994f1-7007-441a-9e1a-ddb167f44166
Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna
d93fd047-a59c-492c-ac0a-cf1710649ebd
Boros, Marianna
32233981-782a-44b2-9fba-c5612bb5d1de
Bartolomeo, Paolo
3daa2e84-0393-40cb-a44b-e665c93c12b0
Witzel, Christoph
dfb994f1-7007-441a-9e1a-ddb167f44166

Siuda-Krzywicka, Katarzyna, Boros, Marianna, Bartolomeo, Paolo and Witzel, Christoph (2019) The biological bases of colour categorisation: from goldfish to the human brain. Cortex, 118, 82-106. (doi:10.1016/j.cortex.2019.04.010).

Record type: Article

Abstract

How are colour categories related to perception and language? To answer this question, we review research on the neural correlates of colour categories, and categorical responses in preverbal infants and non-human animals. With respect to language, the reviewed findings suggest that colour categorisation often involves automatic language processing. At the same time, evidence from non-human animals, infants, and patients with brain lesions indicates that colour categorisation may also occur in the absence of language. Concerning perception, there is little convincing evidence that the bottom-up processes of colour perception are the origin of colour categories. Instead, colour categorisation might simply build upon the continuous colour perception and interact with perception through the direction of attention to colour differences that are relevant to categorisation. We make three suggestions for future research. First, future research in all areas requires methodological improvements, in particular in stimulus control. Second, future research should overcome the universalist-realist debate and go beyond a simple contrast between perception and language. Third, the link between object colours and colour categories provides an alternative approach that might reveal the ecological origin of colour categories. The ecological approach promises establishing evolutionary and developmental continuity between categorical responses in non-human animals, infants and adult humans.

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Accepted/In Press date: 12 April 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 19 April 2019
Published date: September 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 439128
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/439128
ISSN: 0010-9452
PURE UUID: 90756586-ad4b-4288-837c-3958e1300db2
ORCID for Christoph Witzel: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-9944-2420

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Date deposited: 03 Apr 2020 16:38
Last modified: 26 Nov 2021 06:56

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Contributors

Author: Katarzyna Siuda-Krzywicka
Author: Marianna Boros
Author: Paolo Bartolomeo

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