Abstract

Prior claims that color categories affect color perception are confounded by inequalities in the color space used to equate same- and different-category colors. Here, we equate same- and different-category colors in the number of just-noticeable differences, and measure event-related potentials (ERPs) to these colors on a visual oddball task to establish if color categories affect perceptual or post-perceptual stages of processing. Category effects were found from 200 ms after color presentation, only in ERP components that reflect post-perceptual processes (e.g., N2, P3). The findings suggest that color categories affect post-perceptual processing, but do not affect the perceptual representation of color.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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2014 (1)

2013 (1)

C. Witzel and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Categorical sensitivity to color differences,” J. Vis. 13(7), 1 (2013).
[CrossRef]

2012 (3)

M. A. Webster and P. Kay, “Color categories and color appearance,” Cognition 122, 375–392 (2012).
[CrossRef]

G. Lupyan, “Linguistically modulated perception and cognition: the label-feedback hypothesis,” Front. Psychol. 3, 1–13 (2012).
[CrossRef]

A. Clifford, A. Franklin, A. Holmes, V. G. Drivonikou, E. Özgen, and I. R. Davies, “Neural correlates of acquired color category effects,” Brain Cogn. 80, 126–143 (2012).
[CrossRef]

2011 (2)

L. Mo, G. Xu, P. Kay, and L. H. Tan, “Electrophysiological evidence for the left-lateralized effect of language on preattentive categorical perception of color,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 14026–14030 (2011).
[CrossRef]

A. M. Brown, D. T. Lindsey, and K. M. Guckes, “Color names, color categories, and color-cued visual search: sometimes, color perception is not categorical,” J. Vis. 11(12), 2 (2011).
[CrossRef]

2010 (2)

Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
[CrossRef]

A. Clifford, A. Holmes, I. R. Davies, and A. Franklin, “Color categories affect pre-attentive color perception,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 275–282 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (7)

A. Clifford, A. Franklin, I. R. Davies, and A. Holmes, “Electrophysiological markers of categorical perception of color in 7-month old infants,” Brain Cogn. 71, 165–172 (2009).
[CrossRef]

P. Athanasopoulos, “Cognitive representation of colour in bilinguals: the case of Greek blues,” Bilingual. Lang. Cogn. 12, 83–95 (2009).
[CrossRef]

A. Holmes, A. Franklin, A. Clifford, and I. R. Davies, “Neurophysiological evidence for categorical perception of color,” Brain Cogn. 69, 426–434 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, Q. Wang, Y. Zhang, J. Qiu, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “The N2pc component in ERP and the lateralization effect of language on color perception,” Neurosci. Lett. 454, 58–61 (2009).
[CrossRef]

G. Thierry, P. Athanasopoulos, A. Wiggett, B. Dering, and J. R. Kuipers, “Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on preattentive color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 4567–4570 (2009).
[CrossRef]

W. T. Siok, P. Kay, W. S. Wang, A. H. Chan, L. Chen, K. K. Luke, and L. H. Tan, “Language regions of brain are operative in color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 8140–8145 (2009).
[CrossRef]

C. Witzel, T. Hansen, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Categorical reaction times for equally discriminable colours,” Perception 38, 14 (2009).

2008 (1)

2007 (5)

D. Roberson and J. R. Hanley, “Color vision: color categories vary with language after all,” Curr. Biol. 17, R605–R607 (2007).
[CrossRef]

G. V. Drivonikou, P. Kay, T. Regier, R. B. Ivry, A. L. Gilbert, A. Franklin, and I. R. Davies, “Further evidence that Whorfian effects are stronger in the right visual field than the left,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 1097–1102 (2007).
[CrossRef]

J. Winawer, N. Witthoft, M. C. Frank, L. Wu, A. R. Wade, and L. Boroditsky, “Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 7780–7785 (2007).
[CrossRef]

I. Czigler, “Visual mismatch negativity: violation of nonattended environmental regularities,” J. Psychophysiol. 21, 224–230 (2007).

E. Fonteneau and J. Davidoff, “Neural correlates of colour categories,” Neuroreport 18, 1323–1327 (2007).
[CrossRef]

2006 (4)

C. A. Daoutis, A. Franklin, A. Riddett, A. Clifford, and I. R. Davies, “Categorical effects in children’s colour search: a cross-linguistic comparison,” Br. J. Dev. Psychol. 24, 373–400 (2006).

C. A. Daoutis, M. Pilling, and I. R. Davies, “Categorical effects in visual search for colour,” Vis. Cogn. 14, 217–240 (2006).
[CrossRef]

P. Kay and T. Regier, “Language, thought and color: recent developments,” Trends Cogn. Sci. 10, 51–54 (2006).
[CrossRef]

A. L. Gilbert, T. Regier, P. Kay, and R. B. Ivry, “Whorf hypothesis is supported in the right visual field but not in the left,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 103, 489–494 (2006).

2005 (1)

S. H. Patel and P. N. Azzam, “Characterization of N200 and P300: selected studies of the event-related potential,” Int. J. Med. Sci. 2, 147–154 (2005).
[CrossRef]

2004 (1)

I. Czigler, L. Balázs, and L. G. Pató, “Visual change detection: event-related potentials are dependent on stimulus location in humans,” Neurosci. Lett. 364, 149–153 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2002 (1)

E. Özgen and I. R. Davies, “Acquisition of categorical color perception: a perceptual learning approach to the linguistic relativity hypothesis,” J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 131, 477–493 (2002).

2001 (2)

A. Martínez, F. Di Russo, L. Anllo-Vento, M. I. Sereno, R. B. Buxton, and S. A. Hillyard, “Putting spatial attention on the map: timing and localization of stimulus selection processes in striate and extrastriate visual areas,” Vis. Res. 41, 1437–1457 (2001).
[CrossRef]

R. Oostenveld and P. Praamstra, “The five percent electrode system for high-resolution EEG and ERP measurements,” Clin. Neurophysiol. 112, 713–719 (2001).
[CrossRef]

2000 (2)

D. Roberson and J. Davidoff, “The categorical perception of colors and facial expressions: the effect of verbal interference,” Mem. Cogn. 28, 977–986 (2000).
[CrossRef]

D. Roberson, I. R. Davies, and J. Davidoff, “Color categories are not universal: replications and new evidence from a stone-age culture,” J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 129, 369–398 (2000).

1998 (2)

S. A. Hillyard, E. K. Vogel, and S. J. Luck, “Sensory gain control (amplification) as a mechanism of selective attention: electrophysiological and neuroimaging evidence,” Phil. Trans. R. Soc. London B 353, 1257–1270 (1998).

M. R. Pointer and G. G. Attridge, “The number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 52–54 (1998).

1997 (3)

E. Niedermeyer, “Alpha rhythms as physiological and abnormal phenomena,” Int. J. Psychophysiol. 26, 31–49 (1997).
[CrossRef]

D. H. Brainard, “The psychophysics toolbox,” Spat. Vis. 10, 433–436 (1997).
[CrossRef]

D. G. Pelli, “The VideoToolbox software for visual psychophysics: transforming numbers into movies,” Spat. Vis. 10, 437–442 (1997).

1995 (1)

S. Johannes, T. F. Münte, H. J. Heinze, and G. R. Mangun, “Luminance and spatial attention effects on early visual processing,” Cogn. Brain Res. 2, 189–205 (1995).

1994 (2)

S. J. Luck and S. A. Hillyard, “Spatial filtering during visual search: evidence from human electrophysiology,” J. Exp. Psychol. Hum. Percept. Perform. 20, 1000–1014 (1994).
[CrossRef]

S. J. Luck and S. A. Hillyard, “Electrophysiological correlates of feature analysis during visual search,” Psychophysiology 31, 291–308 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1990 (2)

H. J. Heinze, S. J. Luck, G. R. Mangun, and S. A. Hillyard, “Visual event-related potentials index focused attention within bilateral stimulus arrays. I. Evidence for early selection,” Electroen. Clin. Neuro. 75, 511–527 (1990).

K. T. Mullen and J. J. Kulikowski, “Wavelength discrimination at detection threshold,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 7, 733–742 (1990).
[CrossRef]

1986 (1)

J. Krauskopf, D. R. Williams, M. B. Mandler, and A. M. Brown, “Higher order color mechanisms,” Vis. Res. 26, 23–32 (1986).
[CrossRef]

1984 (1)

P. Kay and W. Kempton, “What is the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis,” Am. Anthropol. 86, 65–79 (1984).

1981 (2)

E. Donchin, “Surprise! … surprise?” Psychophysiology 18, 493–513 (1981).
[CrossRef]

G. McCarthy and E. Donchin, “A metric for thought: a comparison of P300 latency and reaction time,” Science 211, 77–80 (1981).
[CrossRef]

1966 (1)

C. E. Sternheim and R. M. Boynton, “Uniqueness of perceived hues investigated with a continuous judgmental technique,” J. Exp. Psychol. 72, 770–776 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Anllo-Vento, L.

A. Martínez, F. Di Russo, L. Anllo-Vento, M. I. Sereno, R. B. Buxton, and S. A. Hillyard, “Putting spatial attention on the map: timing and localization of stimulus selection processes in striate and extrastriate visual areas,” Vis. Res. 41, 1437–1457 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Athanasopoulos, P.

G. Thierry, P. Athanasopoulos, A. Wiggett, B. Dering, and J. R. Kuipers, “Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on preattentive color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 4567–4570 (2009).
[CrossRef]

P. Athanasopoulos, “Cognitive representation of colour in bilinguals: the case of Greek blues,” Bilingual. Lang. Cogn. 12, 83–95 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Attridge, G. G.

M. R. Pointer and G. G. Attridge, “The number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 52–54 (1998).

Azzam, P. N.

S. H. Patel and P. N. Azzam, “Characterization of N200 and P300: selected studies of the event-related potential,” Int. J. Med. Sci. 2, 147–154 (2005).
[CrossRef]

Balázs, L.

I. Czigler, L. Balázs, and L. G. Pató, “Visual change detection: event-related potentials are dependent on stimulus location in humans,” Neurosci. Lett. 364, 149–153 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Boroditsky, L.

J. Winawer, N. Witthoft, M. C. Frank, L. Wu, A. R. Wade, and L. Boroditsky, “Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 7780–7785 (2007).
[CrossRef]

Boynton, R. M.

C. E. Sternheim and R. M. Boynton, “Uniqueness of perceived hues investigated with a continuous judgmental technique,” J. Exp. Psychol. 72, 770–776 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Brainard, D. H.

D. H. Brainard, “The psychophysics toolbox,” Spat. Vis. 10, 433–436 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Brown, A. M.

A. M. Brown, D. T. Lindsey, and K. M. Guckes, “Color names, color categories, and color-cued visual search: sometimes, color perception is not categorical,” J. Vis. 11(12), 2 (2011).
[CrossRef]

J. Krauskopf, D. R. Williams, M. B. Mandler, and A. M. Brown, “Higher order color mechanisms,” Vis. Res. 26, 23–32 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Buxton, R. B.

A. Martínez, F. Di Russo, L. Anllo-Vento, M. I. Sereno, R. B. Buxton, and S. A. Hillyard, “Putting spatial attention on the map: timing and localization of stimulus selection processes in striate and extrastriate visual areas,” Vis. Res. 41, 1437–1457 (2001).
[CrossRef]

Campos, J. L.

Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, Q. Wang, Y. Zhang, J. Qiu, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “The N2pc component in ERP and the lateralization effect of language on color perception,” Neurosci. Lett. 454, 58–61 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Chan, A. H.

W. T. Siok, P. Kay, W. S. Wang, A. H. Chan, L. Chen, K. K. Luke, and L. H. Tan, “Language regions of brain are operative in color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 8140–8145 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Chen, L.

W. T. Siok, P. Kay, W. S. Wang, A. H. Chan, L. Chen, K. K. Luke, and L. H. Tan, “Language regions of brain are operative in color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 8140–8145 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Clifford, A.

A. Clifford, A. Franklin, A. Holmes, V. G. Drivonikou, E. Özgen, and I. R. Davies, “Neural correlates of acquired color category effects,” Brain Cogn. 80, 126–143 (2012).
[CrossRef]

A. Clifford, A. Holmes, I. R. Davies, and A. Franklin, “Color categories affect pre-attentive color perception,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 275–282 (2010).
[CrossRef]

A. Holmes, A. Franklin, A. Clifford, and I. R. Davies, “Neurophysiological evidence for categorical perception of color,” Brain Cogn. 69, 426–434 (2009).
[CrossRef]

A. Clifford, A. Franklin, I. R. Davies, and A. Holmes, “Electrophysiological markers of categorical perception of color in 7-month old infants,” Brain Cogn. 71, 165–172 (2009).
[CrossRef]

C. A. Daoutis, A. Franklin, A. Riddett, A. Clifford, and I. R. Davies, “Categorical effects in children’s colour search: a cross-linguistic comparison,” Br. J. Dev. Psychol. 24, 373–400 (2006).

Coles, M. G. H.

M. D. Rugg and M. G. H. Coles, Electrophysiology of Mind: Event-Related Brain Potentials and Cognition (Oxford University, 1996).

Czigler, I.

I. Czigler, “Visual mismatch negativity: violation of nonattended environmental regularities,” J. Psychophysiol. 21, 224–230 (2007).

I. Czigler, L. Balázs, and L. G. Pató, “Visual change detection: event-related potentials are dependent on stimulus location in humans,” Neurosci. Lett. 364, 149–153 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Daoutis, C. A.

C. A. Daoutis, A. Franklin, A. Riddett, A. Clifford, and I. R. Davies, “Categorical effects in children’s colour search: a cross-linguistic comparison,” Br. J. Dev. Psychol. 24, 373–400 (2006).

C. A. Daoutis, M. Pilling, and I. R. Davies, “Categorical effects in visual search for colour,” Vis. Cogn. 14, 217–240 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Davidoff, J.

E. Fonteneau and J. Davidoff, “Neural correlates of colour categories,” Neuroreport 18, 1323–1327 (2007).
[CrossRef]

D. Roberson, I. R. Davies, and J. Davidoff, “Color categories are not universal: replications and new evidence from a stone-age culture,” J. Exp. Psychol. Gen. 129, 369–398 (2000).

D. Roberson and J. Davidoff, “The categorical perception of colors and facial expressions: the effect of verbal interference,” Mem. Cogn. 28, 977–986 (2000).
[CrossRef]

Davies, I. R.

A. Clifford, A. Franklin, A. Holmes, V. G. Drivonikou, E. Özgen, and I. R. Davies, “Neural correlates of acquired color category effects,” Brain Cogn. 80, 126–143 (2012).
[CrossRef]

A. Clifford, A. Holmes, I. R. Davies, and A. Franklin, “Color categories affect pre-attentive color perception,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 275–282 (2010).
[CrossRef]

A. Holmes, A. Franklin, A. Clifford, and I. R. Davies, “Neurophysiological evidence for categorical perception of color,” Brain Cogn. 69, 426–434 (2009).
[CrossRef]

A. Clifford, A. Franklin, I. R. Davies, and A. Holmes, “Electrophysiological markers of categorical perception of color in 7-month old infants,” Brain Cogn. 71, 165–172 (2009).
[CrossRef]

G. V. Drivonikou, P. Kay, T. Regier, R. B. Ivry, A. L. Gilbert, A. Franklin, and I. R. Davies, “Further evidence that Whorfian effects are stronger in the right visual field than the left,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 1097–1102 (2007).
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G. Thierry, P. Athanasopoulos, A. Wiggett, B. Dering, and J. R. Kuipers, “Unconscious effects of language-specific terminology on preattentive color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 4567–4570 (2009).
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C. Witzel and K. R. Gegenfurtner, are preparing a manuscript to be called “Categorical facilitation effects for equally dicriminable colours.”

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G. V. Drivonikou, P. Kay, T. Regier, R. B. Ivry, A. L. Gilbert, A. Franklin, and I. R. Davies, “Further evidence that Whorfian effects are stronger in the right visual field than the left,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 1097–1102 (2007).
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Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
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Liu, Q.

Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
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W. T. Siok, P. Kay, W. S. Wang, A. H. Chan, L. Chen, K. K. Luke, and L. H. Tan, “Language regions of brain are operative in color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 8140–8145 (2009).
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S. Johannes, T. F. Münte, H. J. Heinze, and G. R. Mangun, “Luminance and spatial attention effects on early visual processing,” Cogn. Brain Res. 2, 189–205 (1995).

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G. V. Drivonikou, P. Kay, T. Regier, R. B. Ivry, A. L. Gilbert, A. Franklin, and I. R. Davies, “Further evidence that Whorfian effects are stronger in the right visual field than the left,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 1097–1102 (2007).
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Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
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L. Mo, G. Xu, P. Kay, and L. H. Tan, “Electrophysiological evidence for the left-lateralized effect of language on preattentive categorical perception of color,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 14026–14030 (2011).
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Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
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Q. Liu, H. Li, J. L. Campos, C. Teeter, W. Tao, Q. Zhang, and H. J. Sun, “Language suppression effects on the categorical perception of colour as evidenced through ERPs,” Biol. Psychol. 85, 45–52 (2010).
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W. T. Siok, P. Kay, W. S. Wang, A. H. Chan, L. Chen, K. K. Luke, and L. H. Tan, “Language regions of brain are operative in color perception,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 106, 8140–8145 (2009).
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J. Winawer, N. Witthoft, M. C. Frank, L. Wu, A. R. Wade, and L. Boroditsky, “Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 7780–7785 (2007).
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J. Winawer, N. Witthoft, M. C. Frank, L. Wu, A. R. Wade, and L. Boroditsky, “Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 7780–7785 (2007).
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C. Witzel and K. R. Gegenfurtner, are preparing a manuscript to be called “Categorical facilitation effects for equally dicriminable colours.”

Wu, L.

J. Winawer, N. Witthoft, M. C. Frank, L. Wu, A. R. Wade, and L. Boroditsky, “Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 104, 7780–7785 (2007).
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Figures (7)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

JND results. Twelve test colors (155°–210° in hue angle in the CIELUV space with 5° steps) were chosen around the average blue–green boundary (183°). For each test color, JND estimates were averaged to give the mean JND (in degree of hue angles). Error bars indicate standard errors (SEs) of JNDs. Based on the JND results, four colors (A, B, C, D), which are equated in number of JNDs, are defined for the main experiment.

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Color sets used in the visual oddball experiment. There were four colors (A–D). Adjacent colors are equated in their discriminability. Two color sets were formed from these four colors (ABC or BCD). The color in the middle of each set was the frequent “standard” color, and the two outer colors in a set were the infrequent “deviant” colors. Deviant stimuli were categorized as same- or different-category to the standard stimulus on the basis of each individual’s color naming.

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Representative ERP waveforms at eight electrode locations, averaged for all participants (N=15). Each plot gives a different electrode location, and the electrode location is denoted above the y axis for each waveform plot (e.g., O1). The electrode location can be identified in the electrode location map (top right), where the demonstrated channels are marked as filled dots and where the spatial layout aligns with the spatial layout of the plots. The ERP components (e.g., P1) are labeled on one waveform each: N1ant denotes the anterior N1 component, and FP represents the frontal positivity.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Results from the sensory-level ERP components: mean amplitudes and peak latencies of P1 and the anterior N1 for standard and deviant colors. There are no significant differences between conditions in either amplitudes or latencies. Error bars indicate ±SEs.

Fig. 5.
Fig. 5.

Mean amplitudes of P2 and N2 components for standard and deviant colors. Asterisks indicate significant differences between conditions (p*<0.05, p**<0.01, p***<0.001). Error bars indicate ±SEs.

Fig. 6.
Fig. 6.

Mean amplitudes of the frontal positivity (FP) for standard and deviant colors. Significant differences are marked by asterisks (p*<0.05, p**<0.01, p***<0.001). Error bars indicate ±SEs.

Fig. 7.
Fig. 7.

Mean amplitude of the P3 component for standard and deviant colors. As indicated by asterisks (p*<0.05, p**<0.01, p***<0.001), deviant colors have a much larger P3, and the results on the same- and different-category deviants differ at different time windows. Error bars indicate ±SEs.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table 1. Chromaticity Coordinates (x,y, CIE1931) for Stimuli and the White Point of the Monitora

Metrics