Yes, we have no blue bananas

Oct 19, 2006

German scientists say color perception depends not only on an object's pigmentation but also on our knowledge of what the object should look like.

Using images of common fruits and vegetables, Karl Gegenfurtner and colleagues at Justus-Liebig-University in Giessen, Germany, allowed observers to manipulate the color content of a piece of fruit or vegetable.

Observers were asked to alter the color information so as to make the fruits or vegetable appear to lack color. The results showed observers' preconceptions about the fruit's natural color influenced their perception of its actual color.

For example, to make a banana appear black and white, subjects adjusted it to be slightly blue, suggesting they were compensating for a perception that the banana was yellow.

The results, say the researchers, suggest our perception of object color is the combined product of actual sensory data and the brain's expectations about what color the object should be. Information derived from the wavelengths of reflected light is combined with our memory of an object's normal color to produce the colors that we see.

The study appears in the November issue of Nature Neuroscience.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Finding psychological insights through social media

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Why dogs are the new darlings of cognitive science

May 23, 2014

This will be his earliest memory. Red light, morning light. High ceiling canted overhead. Lazy click of toenails on wood. Between the honey-colored slats of the crib a whiskery muzzle slides forward until it ...

Artificial intelligence lenses for the blind created

May 20, 2014

Combining computational geometry, artificial intelligence, geo and ultrasound techniques, among others, scientists from the Center for Research and Advanced Studies (CINVESTAV) created a device to help people ...

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

Apr 18, 2014

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...

Recommended for you

Finding psychological insights through social media

Feb 28, 2015

Social media has opened up a new digital world for psychology research. Four researchers will be discussing new methods of language analysis, and how social media can be leveraged to study personality, mental and physical ...

Aggressive boys tend to develop into physically stronger teens

Feb 27, 2015

Boys who show aggressive tendencies develop greater physical strength as teenagers than boys who are not aggressive, according to new research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Scienc ...

New app helps monitor depression

Feb 27, 2015

Scientists from the University of Birmingham have developed an app that can measure the activity patterns of patients with depression and provide the necessary support.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.