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Color Communication Through Lexical Color Categories

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Color Communication Through Lexical Color Categories

Hosted By: Color Technical Group

17 September 2021, 12:00 - 13:00 - Eastern Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

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Humans can discriminate among about 2^12 distinct colors based only on their spectral composition (hue or saturation). However, human languages contain no more than about 2^3 chromatic “basic color terms,” so communication about color is necessarily imprecise.

What is lost in precision, however, is gained in flexibility. Color terms are easily learned, and they serve several cognitive functions, including efficient communication about color, as assessed by information theory, despite variations in lighting and individual differences in visual perception. Languages differ in having 2 to 16 basic color terms, but the lexical color categories they define are remarkably similar.

In this webinar hosted by the Color Technical Group, Delwin Lindsey and Angela Brown from Ohio State University will discuss these variations and regularities using information theory. They also will discuss how human perception and the need for social communication about color worked together to create color lexicons, and how these lexicons might influence human mental representations of color.

Subject Matter Level: Intermediate - Assumes basic knowledge of the topic

What You Will Learn:

  • How human language compresses the 12-bit set of colors into a 1- to 3-bit chromatic color code
  • How the language code for color varies, yet also shows remarkable similarities, across human languages
  • How lexical color categories arise and how they are related to human color perception and societal need for color communication

Who Should Attend:

  • Anyone who is interested in color vision
  • Anyone who is interested in the efficient representation of color in computer displays to be viewed by multiple kinds of people (international viewers, color deficient viewers)


About the Presenters:

Angela M. Brown, Ohio State University

Dr. Angela M. Brown is an experimental psychologist who studies the sensory development of the human visual system. After a Master's degree in Experimental Psychology (Rutgers University), she studied visual sensation and perception at the University of Michigan. She received her PhD in Experimental Psychology from the University of Michigan in 1981, with a dissertation on human color vision. Her primary area of research is visual development and includes work on visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and contrast discrimination, infant color vision, and infant vernier acuity. She collaborates with Delwin Lindsey in studies of the naming of colors by people around the world. So far, they have worked extensively on American English, Japanese, and Somali. They have also studied the naming and understanding of colors by the Hadza people of Tanzania, one of the last remaining hunter-gatherer societies in the world.

 

Delwin T. Lindsey, Ohio State University

Delwin Lindsey is a professor of psychology at Ohio State University. He received an A.B. in physics from Pomona College and a Ph.D. in biopsychology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Lindsey’s research focuses on human vision, with particular emphasis on color vision. Dr. Lindsey's most recent research interests lie at the intersection of color perception and cognition: the factors that can explain individual and cross-cultural differences in color categorization. His research in this area combines a number of novel empirical and computational approaches to the study of human mental representations of color. Dr. Lindsey is a member of the Vision Sciences Society and the Optical Society. He is a past member of the editorial board of the Journal of the Optical Society of America A and continues to serve as guest editor on special issues of that journal.