Only half right: comment on Regier & Kay

Department of Psychology, University of Essex, Colchester CO4 3SQ, UK.
Trends in Cognitive Sciences (Impact Factor: 21.97). 11/2009; 13(12):500-1; author reply 501. DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2009.10.004
Source: PubMed
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Available from: John Richard Hanley
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    • "We find faster detection of between-category targets regardless of the color of the target or background (blue, green, or purple), indicating that a simple preference for color cannot lie at the heart of this effect. Although there are previous studies that have reported categorical perception of purple in 4-month-old infants (Franklin & Davies, 2004), it is controversial whether the novelty preference method really involves perception (Roberson & Hanley, 2009). The results reported in this paper are the first to unequivocally show categorical perception of purple (in contrast to blue) in pre-linguistic children. "
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    ABSTRACT: The origin of color categories is under debate. Some researchers argue that color categories are linguistically constructed, while others claim they have a pre-linguistic, and possibly even innate, basis. Although there is some evidence that 4-6-month-old infants respond categorically to color, these empirical results have been challenged in recent years. First, it has been claimed that previous demonstrations of color categories in infants may reflect color preferences instead. Second, and more seriously, other labs have reported failing to replicate the basic findings at all. In the current study we used eye-tracking to test 8-month-old infants' categorical perception of a previously attested color boundary (green-blue) and an additional color boundary (blue-purple). Our results show that infants are faster and more accurate at fixating targets when they come from a different color category than when from the same category (even though the chromatic separation sizes were equated). This is the case for both blue-green and blue-purple. Our findings provide independent evidence for the existence of color categories in pre-linguistic infants, and suggest that categorical perception of color can occur without color language.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2013 · Developmental Science
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    Full-text · Article · Nov 2009 · Trends in Cognitive Sciences

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