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The University of Southampton

Research project: The Origin of Colour Categories

Currently Active: 

How are colour perception and language related?

We are able to perceive about 2 million different shades of colours that vary in their hue, saturation, and lightness. However, when we communicate about colours, we use a few colour terms that refer to more or less discrete colour categories, such as red, orange, and yellow. These categories are distributed in an asymmetric way and collapse the three dimensions of hue, saturation, and lightness. It is yet unclear why we use these categories in communication. In this project, we investigate the origin of colour categories by focusing on the information conveyed by colour categories.

Principal investigatorDr Christoph Witzel

Related research groups

Centre for Perception and Cognition (CPC)

Key Publications

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