Translator Disclaimer
17 January 2005 Human color perception, cognition, and culture: why red is always red
Author Affiliations +
Proceedings Volume 5667, Color Imaging X: Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications; (2005)
Event: Electronic Imaging 2005, 2005, San Jose, California, United States
Though an incredible range of colors are perceptible to the human eye, there has been a notable tendency across human cultures to make similar classifications and identifications of colors, with some interesting exceptions. Among societies that only have three basic color terms (such as in New Guinea): “light, dark, and red” appear to be the universal distinctions employed by these societies with simple color systems (if a fourth distinction is made, the new addition will universally be “yellow” or “green/blue”; a fifth distinction will provide the alternate of the fourth; a sixth distinction will separate “blue” and “green,” etc.). Such patterns in human color definition can be understood at biological, evolutionary, and cultural levels. This presentation will review some current understandings about the relationship between human biology, evolutionary history, and the nature of color in both modern and prehistoric human culture – to highlight the biological reasons why some colors and color distinctions are more significant than others, at a universal (pan-human) level.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Timothy D. King "Human color perception, cognition, and culture: why red is always red", Proc. SPIE 5667, Color Imaging X: Processing, Hardcopy, and Applications, (17 January 2005);

Cited by 14 scholarly publications.
Back to Top