The evolution of color categorization systems is investigated by simulating categorization games played by a population of artificial agents. The constraints placed on individual agent’s perception and cognition are minimal and involve limited color discriminability and learning through reinforcement. The main dynamic mechanism for population evolution is pragmatic in nature: There is a pragmatic need for communication between agents, and if the results of such communications have positive consequences in their shared world then the agents involved are positively rewarded, whereas (...) if the results have negative consequences, then involved agents are punished. A mechanism for changing the composition of the population due to agents’ birth and death is also investigated. This birth-death mechanism is found to effectively move an established population color naming system toward a theoretically more optimal one. The simulation results of this article provide insights regarding mechanisms that may constrain universal tendencies in human color categorization systems observed in the linguistic and anthropological literatures. (shrink)
While recognizing the theoretical importance of context, current research has treated naming as though semantic meaning were invariant and the same mapping of category exemplars and names should exist across experimental contexts. An assumed symmetry or bidirectionality in naming behavior has been implicit in the interchangeable use of tasks that ask subjects to match names to stimuli and tasks that ask subjects to match stimuli to names. Examples from the literature are discussed together with several studies of color naming and (...) basic emotion naming in which no such symmetry was found. A more complete model of naming is proposed to account for flexible mapping of names to items. Principles of naming are suggested to describe effects of stimulus sampling, differing access to terms, task demands, and other impacts on naming behavior. (shrink)
Saunders & van Brakel set out to review color science research and to topple the belief that color-vision neurophysiology sets strong deterministic constraints on the cognitive processing of color. Although their skeptism and mission are worthwhile, they fail to give proper treatment to (1) findings that dramatically support some positions they aim to tear down, (2) existing research that anticipates criticisms presented in their target article, and (3) the progress made in the area toward understanding the phenomenon. At the very (...) minimum these oversights weaken the credibility of their arguments and leave the reader to wonder why their discussion ignores what is clearly omitted. (shrink)
Much research on color representation and categorization has assumed that relations among color terms can be proxies for relations among color percepts. We test this assumption by comparing the mapping of color words with color appearances among different observer groups performing cognitive tasks: an invariance of naming task; and triad similarity judgments of color term and color appearance stimuli within and across color categories. Observer subgroups were defined by perceptual phenotype and photopigment opsin genotype analyses. Results suggest that individuals rely (...) on at least two different representational models of color experience: one lexical, conforming to the culture's normative linguistic representation, and another individual perceptual representation organizing each observer's color sensation experiences. Additional observer subgroup analyses suggest that perceptual phenotype variation within a language group may play a greater role in the shared color naming system than previously thought. A reexamination of color naming data in view of these findings may reveal influences on color naming important to current theories. (shrink)
In "Does the Basic Color Terms discussion suffer from the Stimulus Error?" Rolf Kuehni describes a research stumbling block known as the "stimulus error," and hints at the difficulties it causes for mainstream color naming research. Among the issues intrinsic to Kuehni's "stimulus error" description is the important question of what can generally be inferred from color naming behaviors based on bounded samples of empirical stimuli. Here we examine some specifics of the color naming research issues that Kuehni raises. While (...) we share Kuehni's view regarding potential problems caused by the "stimulus error" and his concern regarding its prevalence, Kuehni's commentary seems primarily aimed at stimulating a general discussion of color naming research implications, because the articles he critiques do not actually commit the "stimulus error" in any serious sense. Based on Kuehni's comments, we further examine some of the relevant empirical and theoretical implications for cross-cultural color naming research. (shrink)
Steels & Belpaeme's (S&B) procedure does not model much of the important variation that occurs across human color categorizers. Human perceptual variation and its corollary consequences impact real-world color categorization. Because of this, investigators with the primary aim of understanding color categorization and naming across cultures should exercise some caution extending these findings to explain how different human societies lexicalize color appearance space.