SAGE Journal Articles

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Journal Article 6.1: Banissy, M. J., Tester, V., Muggleton, N. G., Janik, A. B., Davenport, A., Franklin, A., . . . Ward, J. (2013). Synesthesia for color is linked to improved color perception but reduced motion perception. Psychological Science, 24(12), 2390-2397. doi:10.1177/0956797613492424

Abstract: Synesthesia is a rare condition in which one property of a stimulus (e.g., shape) triggers a secondary percept (e.g., color) not typically associated with the first. Work on synesthesia has predominantly focused on confirming the authenticity of synesthetic experience, but much less research has been conducted to examine the extent to which synesthesia is linked to broader perceptual differences. In the research reported here, we examined whether synesthesia is associated with differences in color and motion processing by comparing these abilities in synesthetes who experience color as their evoked sensation with non-synesthetic participants. We show that synesthesia for color is linked to facilitated color sensitivity but decreased motion sensitivity. These findings are discussed in relation to the neurocognitive mechanisms of synesthesia and interactions between color and motion processing in typical adults.

Journal Article 6.2: Conway, B. R. (2009). Color vision, cones, and color-coding in the cortex. The Neuroscientist, 15(3), 274-290. doi:10.1177/1073858408331369

Abstract: Color processing begins with the absorption of light by cone photoreceptors, and progresses through a series of hierarchical stages: Retinal signals carrying color information are transmitted through the lateral geniculate nucleus of the thalamus (LGN) up to the primary visual cortex (V1). From V1, the signals are processed by the second visual area (V2); then by cells located in subcompartments (“globs”) within the posterior inferior temporal (PIT) cortex, a brain region that encompasses area V4 and brain regions immediately anterior to V4. Color signals are then processed by regions deep within the inferior temporal (IT) cortex including area TE. As a heuristic, one can consider each of these stages to be involved in constructing a distinct aspect of the color percept. The three cone types are the basis for trichromacy; retinal ganglion cells that respond in an opponent fashion to activation of different cone classes are the basis for color opponency (these “cone-opponent” cells increase their firing rate above baseline to activation of one cone class and decrease their firing rate below baseline to activation of a different cone class); double-opponent neurons in the V1 generate local color contrast and are the building blocks for color constancy; glob cells elaborate the perception of hue; and IT integrates color perception in the context of behavior. Finally, though nothing is known, these signals presumably interface with motor programs and emotional centers of the brain to mediate the widely acknowledged emotional salience of color.

Journal Article 6.3: Miyahara, E. (2003). Focal colors and unique hues. Perceptual and Motor Skills, 97(3 Suppl), 1038-1042. doi:10.2466/pms.2003.97.3f.1038

Abstract: This study is an empirical investigation of the extent to which focal colors and unique hues of red, green, blue, and yellow are related. Forty young adults were asked to pick focal colors and unique hues from 100 color patches printed on white paper. Their saturation was varied in four levels. Analysis showed mean focal colors and mean unique hues were almost identical for the four color terms.

Journal Article 6.4: Rinner, O., & Gegenfurtner, K. R. (2002). Cone contributions to colour constancy. Perception, 31(6), 733-746. doi:10.1068/p3352

Abstract: Colour constancy refers to the stable perception of object color under changing illumination conditions. This problem has been reformulated as relational color constancy, or the ability of the observer to discriminate between material changes and changes in illumination. It has been suggested that local cone excitation ratios play a prominent role in achieving such constancy. Here we show that perceptual color constancy measured by achromatic adjustments is to a large part complete after 25 ms. This speaks against a prominent role for receptor adaptation, which takes significantly longer. We also found no difference in color constancy between color changes that were compatible with a change of illuminant, and between color changes where local cone ratios were uncorrelated between the two illuminants. Our results show that constant cone ratios are not necessary for color constancy.