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Color memory for objects with prototypical color mismatch




Opper, Jamie K., author
Monnier, Patrick, advisor
Draper, Bruce, committee member
Rhodes, Matthew, committee member

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Many studies have demonstrated the effect of top-down influences on color preference and memory, but these have primarily studied short-term memory or color memory in the abstract (e.g., the experimenter names an object or substance and the subject produces a subjective match without first being exposed to a stimulus). The present study examined the effect of object color prototypicality and how such prototypicality might influence memory for colors of objects presented in non-prototypical colors (e. g., a banana presented as blue). A match between an object's prototypical and presentation colors appeared to facilitate the accuracy of matching and increase participants' confidence that they achieved a correct match; a prototypical color mismatch impaired subjects' ability to achieve a correct match. For stimuli presented in their prototypical colors, subjects tended to remember highly saturated stimuli as less saturated, and desaturated stimuli as more saturated, indicating a sort of "regression to a saturation mean". This effect did not occur for stimuli presented in a non-prototypical color or stimuli presented as simple colored circles. Evidence was not found, however, for systematic influence of object color prototypicality on the hue and/or luminance of subjects' produced matches.


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visual memory
color categorization


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