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Author Topic: What is colour? When green is blue and blue is green.  (Read 7786 times)
opgr
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« Reply #20 on: September 14, 2012, 05:10:38 AM »
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For discussion's sake I submit the attached image.

This is the general distinction as I believe we understand it in the western world.
Disregarding for some subtleties due to colormanagement, the color distinctions are clear to most of us.
However, some of us may have been taught Cyan as light-blue, and Magenta as red, pink, purple, or even fuchsia.

If you make a lesser distinctions in the Cyan region, then mixtures in the direction of Green are possibly also less "relevant".
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Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #21 on: September 14, 2012, 05:21:05 AM »
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I used to live next to a spanish neighbor. He obviously loved soccer. So he was playing with his kid and continuously rolling a bright red soccer ball towards him and then naming the color (not naming the object). And I was wondering: when does the child learn to make the distinction between the object (ball) and the properties of the object (red). Because it sounded to me as if the child would end up thinking a ball is called "red".

I also wondered whether that is how spanish people become more passionate people: they learn the subjective and emotional properties before they learn the factual and objective distinctions… ;-)
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Oscar Rysdyk
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« Reply #22 on: September 14, 2012, 06:36:06 AM »
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I believe that certain primitive cultures, remote tribes with their own unique language, do not distinguish between different species of trees. They have just one word to describe all trees. However, that does not mean that such people are not able to visually distinguish between the different shapes and sizes of leaves, and the different textures of bark on different species of tree, but it must surely make the entire process slower and more confusing.



Even without words, it would be simple and quick to distinguish between a pine tree an a birch tree.  As far as I understand the tests that were conducted in the articles, test subjects were asked to discern a visual difference between colours, not to provide a word for the difference.  That's not a language issue.  That's a visual system issue.  The explanation for the difference between whether the different hue were on the left or the right is also tenuous at best.  I might buy the left brain/right brain argument if one eye were covered.  But if both eyes are open then it doesn't really pass muster.  I can also understand the delay if people are asked to remember a word or series of words.  The brain is being asked to multitask so reactions are a bit slower.  But the extension that showing people pictures before viewing the colour circles didn't cause a change in reaction time and so therefore it must be a language issue is specious.  People weren't being asked to remember anything, just being shown pictures (I read the articles a few days ago so maybe I don't have that exactly right from memory) if I recall.  No multitasking so no delay in processing the hue differences.
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dreed
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« Reply #23 on: September 14, 2012, 08:58:22 AM »
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I might buy the left brain/right brain argument if one eye were covered.  But if both eyes are open then it doesn't really pass muster.

You're assuming that one eye isn't dominating perception:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocular_dominance

For photographers that put their camera up to their right eye all of the time, I wonder if we don't train our brains to treat the right as being superior to the left?

And I wonder if (or how much) of a difference this makes compared to shooting when you have to use both eyes...
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Ray
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« Reply #24 on: September 14, 2012, 09:23:55 AM »
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Even without words, it would be simple and quick to distinguish between a pine tree an a birch tree. 

Sure! That would be like the difference between Red and Blue. But what about more subtle differences? Words have definitions and lots of associations. They appear to be necessary for thinking. They must make a difference, surely.  Grin
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Ray
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« Reply #25 on: September 14, 2012, 11:17:54 AM »
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In that respect I have always wondered why we don't have a specific word for the color between Cyan and Green, even though the color does appear often enough in images for example where ocean and beach meet. I would think that the color happens often enough to be named by western society? (I am referring specifically to the set of general primary colors, not the artist colorpalette naming).


Interesting point! I think the answer must be that Cyan is considered to be halfway between blue and green and encompasses all shades between blue and green. At what point Cyan is considered to be definitely green and no longer cyan, or definitely blue and no longer cyan, is a bit dicey.

My own impression is, when I look at the color on my cyan ink cartridges sticking out of my Epson 7600, is that our modern concept of cyan is closer to blue than to green.

However, when we consider that 24 bit computer processing can result in 64 million different shades of color, we get an impression of the difference in scale between ordinary words and mathematics.

What is 'hot'? A heatwave when the temperature rises to 36 degrees C? The temperature of molten metal? The temperature of the surface of the sun, or the temperature of the interior of the sun? They're all hot in common parlance.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #26 on: September 14, 2012, 12:10:55 PM »
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Dreed, true.  Again, though, that's not a language issue.  As an aside, shooting with both eyes open is an interesting exercise.  It takes some getting used to but it can be helpful in some situations.  I taught myself to shoot that way with hockey so I could better anticipate the play and be ready for the shot more quickly.

Ray, I don't agree.  I don't know the specific words foe the two different hues of green in the experiment in the linked article but I can tell easily enough which is different.  I just don't think language really has anything to do with it.
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Ray
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« Reply #27 on: September 15, 2012, 10:32:29 AM »
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Ray, I don't agree.  I don't know the specific words foe the two different hues of green in the experiment in the linked article but I can tell easily enough which is different.  I just don't think language really has anything to do with it.

I see. So let's get this straight. You are expressing in language, in terms of words and concepts, that you don't think that a lack of language and a lack of specific words for things has anything to do with our perception of those things.  Grin

You might be right, but scholarly research tends to indicate otherwise. You might care to read the following article, which reaffirms the previous points.

http://berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2006/01/31_perception.shtml
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #28 on: September 15, 2012, 10:57:45 AM »
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Ray, that's the same information as in the article linked at the top of the thread.  With the same exact test.  It reaffirms nothing.  It's some of the work on which the first article here is based.
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Ray
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« Reply #29 on: September 15, 2012, 08:08:45 PM »
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Ray, that's the same information as in the article linked at the top of the thread.  With the same exact test.  It reaffirms nothing.  It's some of the work on which the first article here is based.

Yes, it's another report on the same experiment which describes the results in a slightly different way. It sometimes helps to get a similar interpretation expressed differently.

Try doing a Google search posing the question , 'How does language affect our perception of things?'

No need to read all 50 million results to get the clear message that language does indeed affect non-linguistic perception. Grin Here's a brief extract from one such result taken from the following article at  http://www.cs.indiana.edu/pub/gasser/Playpen/TR1/tr/node12.html

Quote
When we hear a description, we form images in our minds.... these images resemble visual percepts and seem to make use of the visual system itself. Different linguistic descriptions of the same scene may evoke quite different images.....The way a scene is described may also alter our memory of it. For example, people who see a green car and then have it described as ``blue'' are more likely to recognize a more bluish car as the one they saw before than people who didn't hear it labeled [Loftus and Palmer, 1974], and people who are asked to label non-prototypical color chips perform worse on a recognition task than people who did not label them during study [Schooler and Engstler-Schooler, 1990].

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RFPhotography
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« Reply #30 on: September 15, 2012, 08:56:41 PM »
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And how many of those 50 million results are just the same few regurgitated in multiple places? 

Look, you buy the theory.  Fine.  No problem.  I don't.  I think it's junk science. 
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Ray
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« Reply #31 on: September 15, 2012, 10:31:38 PM »
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And how many of those 50 million results are just the same few regurgitated in multiple places? 

Probably most of them by far, leaving perhaps only a few hundred distinct studies that show varying degrees of evidence that non-lingual perception is influenced by the words and associations we apply to things

Quote
Look, you buy the theory.  Fine.  No problem.  I don't.  I think it's junk science.

Are you sure that word 'junk' is not coloring your perception?  Grin
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dreed
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« Reply #32 on: September 16, 2012, 02:17:46 AM »
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I don't know the specific words foe the two different hues of green in the experiment in the linked article but I can tell easily enough which is different.  I just don't think language really has anything to do with it.

If I present you with one of those pictures and I ask you "Do you see 8 green squares?", do you say "Yes" or 'No"?

Even if they're different, as long as they all look like the colour which I've been told as being "green", I'd probably answer "Yes".

Now once I've declared that they're all green, part of my brain has therefore reconciled that despite there being some difference between them that they are all the same.
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RFPhotography
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« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2012, 06:59:48 AM »
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If I present you with one of those pictures and I ask you "Do you see 8 green squares?", do you say "Yes" or 'No"?

Even if they're different, as long as they all look like the colour which I've been told as being "green", I'd probably answer "Yes".

Now once I've declared that they're all green, part of my brain has therefore reconciled that despite there being some difference between them that they are all the same.

That's not what was asked though.  People were simply asked to identify on which side of the circle they saw a square that was different. 

Ray, no, the word junk isn't clouding my perception.  Cheesy
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