Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
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Category effects on colour discrimination

Categorical perception would provide a link between colour perception and colour language. We conducted an extensive series of studies on categorical perception of colour. We studied category effects on colour sensitivity, on the performance in a speeded discrimination task and on the subjective appearance of difference. One of the core contributions of our studies is the careful control of perceptual differences when investigating the interaction between perceptual and categorical information. In sum, only speeded discrimination with untrained participants yielded robust category effects. The comparison of the results from the different studies shows that category effects are not inherent to colour perception. Instead, we suggest that attention to the categorical distinction is at the root of the category effect.