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James Nolan, Shannon Riley, Susan Loveall; Color naming based on clinical visual condition: A surprising interaction. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):579. doi: 10.1167/8.6.579.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Purpose Color naming procedures usually involve the presentation of a stimulus that varies in appearance (based on chromatic or achromatic properties). Berlin and Kay (1969) have noted that well-developed languages seem to contain precisely eleven basic color terms. For the purpose of exploring how the phenomenological color world of clinically diagnosed vision-altered patients exemplifying various forms of color alterations matches that of color normal observers, and to assess receptor sensitivity in relation to one's description of color, a color naming procedure was utilized.
Procedure Subjects (n=10) exemplified altered color vision and best-corrected visual acuities of 20/100 to 20/600 in both eyes. Color vision deficiencies were detected with Ishihara Color Plates. Subjects were tested with a set of color chips and color categories were assessed using a pallet of nominal color regions consisting of 11 colors- red, green, yellow, blue, orange, purple, brown, pink, white, black, and gray. Control subjects (n=10) were assessed with the same stimuli and procedures.
Results Data for color naming under incandescent and natural lighting conditions were collected. Although the regions chosen by our subjects for the 11 basic color terms were quite large and slightly shifted, they were in rough agreement with control subjects.
Discussion Despite the fact that subjects show reduced visual acuity and altered color vision they show consistency in naming colors and characteristic shifts and confusions. These data imply that, despite their inability to pass standard color vision tests, these patients color naming abilities are remarkably intact. It is likely that our subjects are making use of possible learned cues and segmentations to demonstrate a fairly accurate color naming ability despite evidence of profound color loss. Color categorization data collected under both incandescent and natural lighting conditions complement one another. These data suggest a good degree of color constancy for our subjects.
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