Abstract

Red, green, blue, yellow, and white have been distinguished from other hues as unique. We present results from two experiments that undermine existing behavioral evidence to separate the unique hues from other colors. In Experiment 1 we used hue scaling, which has often been used to support the existence of unique hues, but has never been attempted with a set of non-unique primaries. Subjects were assigned to one of two experimental conditions. In the “unique” condition, they rated the proportions of red, yellow, blue, and green that they perceived in each of a series of test stimuli. In the “intermediate” condition, they rated the proportions of teal, purple, orange, and lime. We found, surprisingly, that results from the two conditions were largely equivalent. In Experiment 2, we investigated the effect of instruction on subjects’ settings of unique hues. We found that altering the color terms given in the instructions to include intermediate hues led to significant shifts in the hue that subjects identified as unique. The results of both experiments question subjects’ abilities to identify certain hues as unique.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  8. C. M. Stoughton and B. R. Conway, “Neural basis for unique hues,” Curr. Biol. 18, R698–R689 (2008).
    [CrossRef]
  9. S. M. Wuerger and L. Parkes, “Unique hues: perception and brain imaging,” in New Directions in Colour Studies, C. Biggam, C. Hough, C. Kay, and D. Simmons, eds. (John Benjamin Publishing Company, 2011), pp. 445–455.
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  16. R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, “Hue scaling of isoluminant and cone-specific lights,” Vis. Res. 37, 885–897 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  17. V. J. Volbrecht, J. L. Nerger, L. S. Baker, A. R. Trujillo, and K. Youngpeter, “Unique hue loci differ with methodology,” Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 30, 545–552 (2010).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  19. J. Gordon, I. Abramov, and H. Chan, “Describing color appearance: hue and saturation scaling,” Percept. Psychophys. 56, 27–41 (1994).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  29. J. Bosten and A. J. Lawrance-Owen, “No difference in variability of unique hue selections and binary hue selections,” J. Opt. Soc. Am.31, A357–A364 (2014).
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    [CrossRef]
  31. K. Zychaluk and D. H. Foster, “Model-free estimation of the psychometric function,” Atten. Percept. Psychophys. 71, 1414–1425 (2009).
    [CrossRef]
  32. K. A. Jameson, “Where in the World Color Survey is the support for the Hering Primaries as the basis for Color Categorization?” in Color Ontology and Color Science, J. Cohen and M. Matthen, eds. (MIT, 2010), pp. 179–202.
  33. P. Kay and T. Regier, “Resolving the question of color naming universals,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 9085–9089 (2003).
    [CrossRef]
  34. B. A. Saunders and J. van Brakel, “Are there nontrivial constraints on colour categorization?” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 167–179 (1997).
  35. I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Constraining color categories: the problem of the baby and the bath water,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 179–180 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  36. M. Bornstein, “Selective vision,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 180–181 (1997).
  37. A. Byrne and D. Hilbert, “Unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 184–185 (1997).
  38. J. Broakes, “Could we take lime, purple, orange, and teal as unique hues?” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 183–184 (1997).
    [CrossRef]
  39. G. Brindley, Physiology of the Retinal and Visual Pathway, 2nd ed. (Camelot Ltd., 1970).
  40. A. D. Logvinenko and L. L. Beattie, “Partial hue-matching,” J. Vis. 11(8):6 (2011).
    [CrossRef]
  41. A. D. Logvinenko, “A theory of unique hues and colour categories in the human colour vision,” Color Res. Appl. 37, 109–116 (2012).
    [CrossRef]
  42. M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Changes in colour appearance following post-receptoral adaptation,” Nature 349, 235–238 (1991).
    [CrossRef]
  43. C. Witzel and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Categorical sensitivity to color differences,” J. Vis. 13(7):1 (2013).
    [CrossRef]
  44. S. Burns, A. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984).
    [CrossRef]
  45. G. Malkoc and F. A. A. Kingdom, “Dichoptic difference thresholds for chromatic stimuli,” Vis. Res. 62, 75–83 (2012).
    [CrossRef]
  46. M. Ayama, T. Nakatsue, and P. K. Kaiser, “Constant hue loci of unique and binary balanced hues at 10, 100, and 1000  Td,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 1136–1144 (1987).
    [CrossRef]
  47. M. V. Danilova and J. D. Mollon, “Cardinal axes are not independent in color discrimination,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, A157–A164 (2012).
    [CrossRef]
  48. R. Kuehni, “Variability in unique hue selection: a surprising phenomenon,” Color Res. Appl. 29, 158–162 (2004).
    [CrossRef]

2013 (1)

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

2012 (4)

A. D. Logvinenko, “A theory of unique hues and colour categories in the human colour vision,” Color Res. Appl. 37, 109–116 (2012).
[CrossRef]

G. Malkoc and F. A. A. Kingdom, “Dichoptic difference thresholds for chromatic stimuli,” Vis. Res. 62, 75–83 (2012).
[CrossRef]

M. V. Danilova and J. D. Mollon, “Cardinal axes are not independent in color discrimination,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, A157–A164 (2012).
[CrossRef]

M. Danilova and J. Mollon, “Foveal color perception: minimal thresholds at a boundary between perceptual categories,” Vis. Res. 62, 162–172 (2012).
[CrossRef]

2011 (1)

A. D. Logvinenko and L. L. Beattie, “Partial hue-matching,” J. Vis. 11(8):6 (2011).
[CrossRef]

2010 (1)

V. J. Volbrecht, J. L. Nerger, L. S. Baker, A. R. Trujillo, and K. Youngpeter, “Unique hue loci differ with methodology,” Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 30, 545–552 (2010).
[CrossRef]

2009 (2)

J. Mollon, “A neural basis for unique hues?” Curr. Biol. 19, R441–R442 (2009).
[CrossRef]

K. Zychaluk and D. H. Foster, “Model-free estimation of the psychometric function,” Atten. Percept. Psychophys. 71, 1414–1425 (2009).
[CrossRef]

2008 (2)

C. M. Stoughton and B. R. Conway, “Neural basis for unique hues,” Curr. Biol. 18, R698–R689 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D. R. Hilbert, “Basic tastes and unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 31, 82 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007 (1)

2005 (2)

2004 (1)

R. Kuehni, “Variability in unique hue selection: a surprising phenomenon,” Color Res. Appl. 29, 158–162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

2003 (1)

P. Kay and T. Regier, “Resolving the question of color naming universals,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 9085–9089 (2003).
[CrossRef]

2001 (1)

A. Valberg, “Unique hues: an old problem for a new generation.,” Vis. Res. 41, 1645–1657 (2001).
[CrossRef]

2000 (2)

1997 (7)

B. A. Saunders and J. van Brakel, “Are there nontrivial constraints on colour categorization?” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 167–179 (1997).

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Constraining color categories: the problem of the baby and the bath water,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 179–180 (1997).
[CrossRef]

M. Bornstein, “Selective vision,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 180–181 (1997).

A. Byrne and D. Hilbert, “Unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 184–185 (1997).

J. Broakes, “Could we take lime, purple, orange, and teal as unique hues?” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 183–184 (1997).
[CrossRef]

D. Miller, “Over the rainbow: the classification of unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 204–205 (1997).

R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, “Hue scaling of isoluminant and cone-specific lights,” Vis. Res. 37, 885–897 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1995 (1)

G. Jordan and J. D. Mollon, “Rayleigh matches and unique green,” Vis. Res. 35, 613–620 (1995).
[CrossRef]

1994 (2)

J. Gordon, I. Abramov, and H. Chan, “Describing color appearance: hue and saturation scaling,” Percept. Psychophys. 56, 27–41 (1994).
[CrossRef]

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Color appearance: on seeing red—or yellow, or green, or blue,” Annu. Rev. Psychol. 45, 451–485 (1994).
[CrossRef]

1991 (1)

M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Changes in colour appearance following post-receptoral adaptation,” Nature 349, 235–238 (1991).
[CrossRef]

1990 (1)

1987 (1)

1984 (1)

S. Burns, A. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984).
[CrossRef]

1979 (1)

1976 (1)

J. M. Eichengreen, “Unique hue loci: induced shifts with complementary surrounds,” Vis. Res. 16, 199–203 (1976).
[CrossRef]

1966 (2)

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]

R. De Valois, I. Abramov, and G. Jacobs, “Analysis of response patterns of LGN cells,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 966–977 (1966).
[CrossRef]

1959 (1)

1957 (1)

L. M. Hurvich and D. Jameson, “An opponent-process theory of color vision,” Psychol. Rev. 64, 384–404 (1957).

1939 (1)

F. L. Dimmick and M. R. Hubbard, “The spectral location of psychologically unique yellow, green and blue,” Am. J. Psychol. 52, 242–254 (1939).
[CrossRef]

Abramov, I.

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Seeing unique hues,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2143–2153 (2005).
[CrossRef]

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Constraining color categories: the problem of the baby and the bath water,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 179–180 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. Gordon, I. Abramov, and H. Chan, “Describing color appearance: hue and saturation scaling,” Percept. Psychophys. 56, 27–41 (1994).
[CrossRef]

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Color appearance: on seeing red—or yellow, or green, or blue,” Annu. Rev. Psychol. 45, 451–485 (1994).
[CrossRef]

R. De Valois, I. Abramov, and G. Jacobs, “Analysis of response patterns of LGN cells,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 966–977 (1966).
[CrossRef]

Ayama, M.

Baker, L. S.

V. J. Volbrecht, J. L. Nerger, L. S. Baker, A. R. Trujillo, and K. Youngpeter, “Unique hue loci differ with methodology,” Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 30, 545–552 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Beattie, L. L.

A. D. Logvinenko and L. L. Beattie, “Partial hue-matching,” J. Vis. 11(8):6 (2011).
[CrossRef]

Bornstein, M.

M. Bornstein, “Selective vision,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 180–181 (1997).

Bosten, J.

J. Bosten and A. J. Lawrance-Owen, “No difference in variability of unique hue selections and binary hue selections,” J. Opt. Soc. Am.31, A357–A364 (2014).

Boynton, R. M.

D. I. MacLeod and R. M. Boynton, “Chromaticity diagram showing cone excitation by stimuli of equal luminance,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1183–1186 (1979).
[CrossRef]

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.

Brindley, G.

G. Brindley, Physiology of the Retinal and Visual Pathway, 2nd ed. (Camelot Ltd., 1970).

Broakes, J.

J. Broakes, “Could we take lime, purple, orange, and teal as unique hues?” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 183–184 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Burns, S.

S. Burns, A. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984).
[CrossRef]

Byrne, A.

A. Byrne and D. Hilbert, “Unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 184–185 (1997).

Calderone, J. B.

Cárdenas, L. M.

Cavonius, C.

J. Mollon and C. Cavonius, “The chromatic antagonisms of Opponent Process Theory are not the same as those revealed in studies of detection and discrimination,” in Colour Vision Deficiencies VIII, G. Verriest, ed. (Junk, 1987), pp. 473–483.

Chan, H.

J. Gordon, I. Abramov, and H. Chan, “Describing color appearance: hue and saturation scaling,” Percept. Psychophys. 56, 27–41 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Conway, B. R.

C. M. Stoughton and B. R. Conway, “Neural basis for unique hues,” Curr. Biol. 18, R698–R689 (2008).
[CrossRef]

D’Andrade, R. G.

K. A. Jameson and R. G. D’Andrade, “It’s not really red, green, yellow, blue: an inquiry into perceptual color space,” in Color Categories in Thought and Language, C. Hardin and L. Maffi, eds. (Cambridge University, 1997), pp. 295–319.

Danilova, M.

M. Danilova and J. Mollon, “Foveal color perception: minimal thresholds at a boundary between perceptual categories,” Vis. Res. 62, 162–172 (2012).
[CrossRef]

Danilova, M. V.

De Valois, K. K.

R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, “Hue scaling of isoluminant and cone-specific lights,” Vis. Res. 37, 885–897 (1997).
[CrossRef]

De Valois, R.

De Valois, R. L.

R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, “Hue scaling of isoluminant and cone-specific lights,” Vis. Res. 37, 885–897 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Dimmick, F. L.

F. L. Dimmick and M. R. Hubbard, “The spectral location of psychologically unique yellow, green and blue,” Am. J. Psychol. 52, 242–254 (1939).
[CrossRef]

Eichengreen, J. M.

J. M. Eichengreen, “Unique hue loci: induced shifts with complementary surrounds,” Vis. Res. 16, 199–203 (1976).
[CrossRef]

Elsner, A.

S. Burns, A. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984).
[CrossRef]

Foster, D. H.

K. Zychaluk and D. H. Foster, “Model-free estimation of the psychometric function,” Atten. Percept. Psychophys. 71, 1414–1425 (2009).
[CrossRef]

Gegenfurtner, K. R.

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

Gordon, J.

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Seeing unique hues,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2143–2153 (2005).
[CrossRef]

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Constraining color categories: the problem of the baby and the bath water,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 179–180 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. Gordon, I. Abramov, and H. Chan, “Describing color appearance: hue and saturation scaling,” Percept. Psychophys. 56, 27–41 (1994).
[CrossRef]

I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Color appearance: on seeing red—or yellow, or green, or blue,” Annu. Rev. Psychol. 45, 451–485 (1994).
[CrossRef]

Hering, E.

E. Hering, Zur Lehre Vom Lichtsinne (Carl Gerold’s Sohn, 1878).

Hilbert, D.

A. Byrne and D. Hilbert, “Unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 184–185 (1997).

Hilbert, D. R.

D. R. Hilbert, “Basic tastes and unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 31, 82 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Hinks, D.

Hubbard, M. R.

F. L. Dimmick and M. R. Hubbard, “The spectral location of psychologically unique yellow, green and blue,” Am. J. Psychol. 52, 242–254 (1939).
[CrossRef]

Hurvich, L. M.

Jacobs, G.

Jacobs, G. H.

Jameson, D.

Jameson, K. A.

K. A. Jameson and R. G. D’Andrade, “It’s not really red, green, yellow, blue: an inquiry into perceptual color space,” in Color Categories in Thought and Language, C. Hardin and L. Maffi, eds. (Cambridge University, 1997), pp. 295–319.

K. A. Jameson, “Where in the World Color Survey is the support for the Hering Primaries as the basis for Color Categorization?” in Color Ontology and Color Science, J. Cohen and M. Matthen, eds. (MIT, 2010), pp. 179–202.

Jordan, G.

G. Jordan and J. D. Mollon, “Rayleigh matches and unique green,” Vis. Res. 35, 613–620 (1995).
[CrossRef]

Kaiser, P. K.

Kay, P.

G. Malkoc, P. Kay, and M. A. Webster, “Variations in normal color vision. IV. Binary hues and hue scaling,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2154–2168 (2005).
[CrossRef]

P. Kay and T. Regier, “Resolving the question of color naming universals,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 9085–9089 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Kingdom, F. A. A.

G. Malkoc and F. A. A. Kingdom, “Dichoptic difference thresholds for chromatic stimuli,” Vis. Res. 62, 75–83 (2012).
[CrossRef]

Kuehni, R.

R. Kuehni, “Variability in unique hue selection: a surprising phenomenon,” Color Res. Appl. 29, 158–162 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Kuehni, R. G.

Lawrance-Owen, A. J.

J. Bosten and A. J. Lawrance-Owen, “No difference in variability of unique hue selections and binary hue selections,” J. Opt. Soc. Am.31, A357–A364 (2014).

Logvinenko, A. D.

A. D. Logvinenko, “A theory of unique hues and colour categories in the human colour vision,” Color Res. Appl. 37, 109–116 (2012).
[CrossRef]

A. D. Logvinenko and L. L. Beattie, “Partial hue-matching,” J. Vis. 11(8):6 (2011).
[CrossRef]

MacLeod, D. I.

Mahon, L.

R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, “Hue scaling of isoluminant and cone-specific lights,” Vis. Res. 37, 885–897 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Malkoc, G.

Metha, A.

Miller, D.

D. Miller, “Over the rainbow: the classification of unique hues,” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 204–205 (1997).

B. Wooten and D. Miller, “The psychophysics of color,” in Color Categories in Thought and Language, C. Hardin and L. Maffi, eds. (Cambridge University, 1997), pp. 59–88.

Miyahara, E.

Mollon, J.

M. Danilova and J. Mollon, “Foveal color perception: minimal thresholds at a boundary between perceptual categories,” Vis. Res. 62, 162–172 (2012).
[CrossRef]

J. Mollon, “A neural basis for unique hues?” Curr. Biol. 19, R441–R442 (2009).
[CrossRef]

J. Mollon and C. Cavonius, “The chromatic antagonisms of Opponent Process Theory are not the same as those revealed in studies of detection and discrimination,” in Colour Vision Deficiencies VIII, G. Verriest, ed. (Junk, 1987), pp. 473–483.

Mollon, J. D.

M. V. Danilova and J. D. Mollon, “Cardinal axes are not independent in color discrimination,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, A157–A164 (2012).
[CrossRef]

G. Jordan and J. D. Mollon, “Rayleigh matches and unique green,” Vis. Res. 35, 613–620 (1995).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Changes in colour appearance following post-receptoral adaptation,” Nature 349, 235–238 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Nakatsue, T.

Neitz, J.

Neitz, M.

Nerger, J. L.

V. J. Volbrecht, J. L. Nerger, L. S. Baker, A. R. Trujillo, and K. Youngpeter, “Unique hue loci differ with methodology,” Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 30, 545–552 (2010).
[CrossRef]

Parkes, L.

S. M. Wuerger and L. Parkes, “Unique hues: perception and brain imaging,” in New Directions in Colour Studies, C. Biggam, C. Hough, C. Kay, and D. Simmons, eds. (John Benjamin Publishing Company, 2011), pp. 445–455.

Pokorny, J.

S. Burns, A. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984).
[CrossRef]

Raker, V. E.

Regier, T.

P. Kay and T. Regier, “Resolving the question of color naming universals,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 100, 9085–9089 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Roorda, A.

Saunders, B. A.

B. A. Saunders and J. van Brakel, “Are there nontrivial constraints on colour categorization?” Behav. Brain Sci. 20, 167–179 (1997).

Schefrin, B. E.

Shamey, R.

Smith, V.

S. Burns, A. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984).
[CrossRef]

Sternheim, C. E.

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]

Stoughton, C. M.

C. M. Stoughton and B. R. Conway, “Neural basis for unique hues,” Curr. Biol. 18, R698–R689 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Switkes, E.

R. L. De Valois, K. K. De Valois, E. Switkes, and L. Mahon, “Hue scaling of isoluminant and cone-specific lights,” Vis. Res. 37, 885–897 (1997).
[CrossRef]

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