February 2016
Volume 16, Issue 4
Open Access
OSA Fall Vision Meeting Abstract  |   February 2016
The Color Communication Game: Performance vs. Competence
Author Affiliations
  • Delwin T. Lindsey
    Ohio State University
  • Angela M. Brown
    College of Optometry
Journal of Vision February 2016, Vol.16, 30-31. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/16.4.27
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      Delwin T. Lindsey, Angela M. Brown; The Color Communication Game: Performance vs. Competence. Journal of Vision 2016;16(4):30-31. https://doi.org/10.1167/16.4.27.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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We have developed an information theoretic analysis of color naming [12,3]. We compute mutual information (MI, in bits) in a simulated “game” involving a “sender” (S) who names out loud, based on his color idiolect, the colors of samples selected randomly (with replacement) from an array of N samples. A “receiver” (R) attempts to identify S's selections from her duplicate array of color samples, based only on S's color term message and her own color idiolect. MI measures how much S's messages improve R's chances of guessing S's selections correctly. In the past, we have used R's color naming data to predict her performance. However, this strategy does not consider what informants may know but do not volunteer. To address this issue, we have created an iPad application in which groups of informants actually play a networked version of our color game. Each player serves as sender, naming each of 30 color samples displayed randomly one at a time, then as receiver, selecting from the entire array of colors, the one that corresponds to each color name provided by himself and others in the first phase of the experiment. The MI for players identifying the samples corresponding to their own color terms was only slightly better than MI for the color terms deployed other players. Playing the game twice, once naïve to the identification phase and once in full knowledge of the game, produced slightly higher MI in the second round. However, in general, MI never reached its optimum value.

Lindsey D.T., Brown A.M., Brainard D.H., Apicella C.L. 2015 The color communication game Talk presented as the annual meeting of the Vision Sciences Society St. Pete's Beach FL
Baddeley R., Attewell D. 2009 The relationship between language and the environment: Information theory shows why we have only three lightness terms Psychological Science 20 1100 [CrossRef] [PubMed]
Lindsey D.T., Brown A.M., Brainard D.H., Apicella C.L. (in press) Hunter-gatherer color naming provides new insight into the evolution of color terms Current Biology
 Supported by NSF BCS-1152841.

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