Document Detail

Segregation of basic colors in an information display.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  2231108     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Previous studies of the role of color in visual search have shown efficient coding for as many as six colors in a high-density display. In an effort to increase this limit, we established an optimal basic color code from extensive surface-color-naming data. This code yielded excellent segregation in a visual search task: The time required to find a critical target of a cued color increased only marginally as up to nine groups of different colors were added to the display. It made no difference whether the cue was provided by name or by example. Significant color differences in this task triggered a second experiment, which examined the detectability of the critical target feature in the periphery. A close correlation was found to exist in the order of color performance between the two experiments. Color segregation was tested again in a third experiment, in which subjects were required to count the number of targets of the cued color. The colors again segregated well. A final experiment tested the proposition that it was the basic nature of the colors that was responsible for the good segregation. When seven basic colors were pitted against seven equally discriminable nonbasic ones in a modified version of the visual search task, no significant difference was found between the two groups. It is concluded that basic colors segregate well not because they are universally named but because they are well separated in color space.
H S Smallman; R M Boynton
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't; Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of the Optical Society of America. A, Optics and image science     Volume:  7     ISSN:  0740-3232     ISO Abbreviation:  J Opt Soc Am A     Publication Date:  1990 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1990-12-07     Completed Date:  1990-12-07     Revised Date:  2007-11-14    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8402086     Medline TA:  J Opt Soc Am A     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  1985-94     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Psychology, University of California, San Diego, La Jolla 92093.
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MeSH Terms
Color Perception / physiology*
Data Display*
Middle Aged
Visual Perception
Grant Support

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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