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Mem Cognit. 2003 Jun;31(4):538-51.

Is color "categorical perception" really perceptual?

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University of Surrey, Guildford, England.


Roberson and Davidoff (2000) found that color categorical perception (CP; better cross-category than within-category discrimination) was eliminated by verbal, but not by visual, interference presented during the interstimulus interval (ISI) of a discrimination task. On the basis of this finding, Roberson and Davidoff concluded that CP was mediated by verbal labels, and not by perceptual mechanisms, as is generally assumed. Experiment 1 replicated their results. However, it was found that if the interference type was uncertain on each trial (Experiment 2), CP then survived verbal interference. Moreover, it was found that the target color name could be retained across the ISI even with verbal interference (Experiment 3). We therefore conclude that color CP may indeed involve verbal labeling but that verbal interference does not necessarily prevent it.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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