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Seminar: 2/4 - Anna Franklin, University of Surrey

11:00 to 12:30 PM      at:  5101 Tolman Hall

Color categories in language and thought

Although the color spectrum is physically continuous, color categories are present in both language (i.e., color terms) and thought (e.g., categorical perception of color). In this talk, I will outline a series of developmental studies that investigate the origin of colour categories. I will present converging behavioural and electrophysiological evidence that infants respond categorically to color. I will also present evidence that color categories are lateralized to the right hemisphere of the infant brain, and appear to switch to the left hemisphere when color terms are learnt. The findings will be related to fundamental issues in the cognitive sciences such as: i) how and when categories form; ii) the relationship between categories in language and thought; and iii) how categories are expressed in the brain.