Cognitive Processing

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 217–226 | Cite as

Another look at category effects on colour perception and their left hemispheric lateralisation: no evidence from a colour identification task

  • Takashi SuegamiEmail author
  • Samira Aminihajibashi
  • Bruno Laeng
Short Report


The present study aimed to replicate category effects on colour perception and their lateralisation to the left cerebral hemisphere (LH). Previous evidence for lateralisation of colour category effects has been obtained with tasks where a differently coloured target was searched within a display and participants reported the lateral location of the target. However, a left/right spatial judgment may yield LH-laterality effects per se. Thus, we employed an identification task that does not require a spatial judgment and used the same colour set that previously revealed LH-lateralised category effects. The identification task was better performed with between-category colours than with within-category task both in terms of accuracy and latency, but such category effects were bilateral or RH-lateralised, and no evidence was found for LH-laterality effects. The accuracy scores, moreover, indicated that the category effects derived from low sensitivities for within-blue colours and did not reflect the effects of categorical structures on colour perception. Furthermore, the classic “category effects” were observed in participants’ response biases, instead of sensitivities. The present results argue against both the LH-lateralised category effects on colour perception and the existence of colour category effects per se.


Category effect Colour perception Laterality Identification task 



This study was supported by JSPS (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science) Postdoctoral Fellowship for Research Abroad for TS (H24-794).


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Copyright information

© Marta Olivetti Belardinelli and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Takashi Suegami
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Samira Aminihajibashi
    • 1
  • Bruno Laeng
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of OsloOsloNorway
  2. 2.Graduate School of Biomedical ScienceNagasaki UniversityNagasaki cityJapan

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