Optical Review

, Volume 19, Issue 4, pp 276–281 | Cite as

Rapid and implicit effects of color category on visual search

  • Kenji Yokoi
  • Katsumi Watanabe
  • Shinya Saida
Regular Papers


Many studies suggest that the color category influences visual perception. It is also well known that oculomotor control and visual attention are closely linked. In order to clarify temporal characteristics of color categorization, we investigated eye movements during color visual search. Eight color disks were presented briefly for 20–320 ms, and the subject was instructed to gaze at a target shown prior to the trial. We found that the color category of the target modulated eye movements significantly when the stimulus was displayed for more than 40 ms and the categorization could be completed within 80 ms. With the 20 ms presentation, the search performance was at a chance level, however, the first saccadic latency suggested that the color category had an effect on visual attention. These results suggest that color categorization affects the guidance of visual attention rapidly and implicitly.


color category basic colors visual search visual attention eye movements 


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Copyright information

© The Optical Society of Japan 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kenji Yokoi
    • 1
  • Katsumi Watanabe
    • 2
  • Shinya Saida
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Applied PhysicsNational Defense AcademyYokosuka, KanagawaJapan
  2. 2.Research Center for Advanced Science and TechnologyThe University of TokyoMeguro, TokyoJapan
  3. 3.Department of Human SciencesKanagawa UniversityYokohamaJapan

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