ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2018, Vol. 50 ›› Issue (11): 1259-1268.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.01259

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇



  1. 1 内蒙古自治区心理学重点实验室
    2 内蒙古师范大学教育科学学院, 呼和浩特 010022
  • 收稿日期:2017-10-27 出版日期:2018-11-25 发布日期:2018-09-25
  • 通讯作者: 李杰
  • 基金资助:
    * 国家自然科学基金(31460250);2018年度内蒙古自治区高等学校“青年科技英才支持计划”(NJYT-18-A03);内蒙古师范大学研究生创新基金项目资助(CXJJB17003)

Behavioral and ERP study of color categorical perception in proficient and nonproficient bilinguals

Jie LI1,2(),Hu HE2,Baizhou WU2,You HOU1,2,Kang CAO2,Ruhan A2   

  1. 1 Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region Key Laboratory of Psychology, Hohhot 010022, China
    2 School of Educational Science, Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot 010022, China
  • Received:2017-10-27 Online:2018-11-25 Published:2018-09-25
  • Contact: Jie LI


为研究语言对知觉的影响作用, 行为实验采用视觉搜索范式研究蒙汉双语者的颜色范畴知觉效应; 为进一步考察语言影响知觉的脑机制, 脑电实验采用Oddball范式研究蒙汉双语者的颜色范畴知觉效应。行为实验和脑电研究结果都发现, 在区分蒙古语中qinkerhuhe色时, 低汉语水平的蒙汉双语者比高汉语水平者产生更强的颜色范畴效应, 蒙汉双语者的汉语水平影响颜色范畴知觉, 双语者所习得的第二语言范畴可以改变双语者母语的范畴, 语言能影响知觉的前注意阶段, 本研究支持了Spair-Whorf假设。

关键词: 颜色范畴知觉, 蒙古语, 双语者, 失匹配负波, Spair-Whorf假设


Color categorical perception (CCP: faster or more accurate discrimination of color that straddles a color category boundary) has provided an empirical standard passage of the debate on the relation of language and cognition during the last half-century. A majority of studies suggested that CCP is tightly linked to the language and culture we are born into, which agreed with the Whorf hypothesis in which CCP is language-related and not universal. The participants of previous studies were mainly monolingual, so whether the results of monolingual research can be generalized to bilinguals remains uncertain. There are many Mongolian-Chinese bilinguals in Inner Mongolia. Mongolians divide the blue region of color space into a darker shade called huhe and a lighter shade called qinker, while both lighter blue and darker blue are simply described with the single word Lan in Chinese. To confirm whether the color category in first language (L1) of Mongolian-Chinese bilinguals is influenced by second language, the present study used a behavioral experiment and event-related potential (ERP) to compare the CCP between proficient bilinguals and nonproficient bilinguals.

The first experiment was a behavioral experiment using a visual search task and included 35 proficient bilingual and 33 nonproficient bilingual college students. The stimulus of visual search display appeared, consisting of a ring of 12 squares surrounding the fixation marker. All of the squares were of the same color except for the one that was the target. The target and distractor colors were either from within the same lexical category (e.g., different shades of qinker) or from different lexical categories (e.g., a qinker and a huhe). We explored whether nonproficient Mongolian-Chinese bilinguals show a greater advantage of the CCP effect over proficient Mongolian-Chinese bilinguals due to the endogenous preparation of task switching. To further explore the language learning effect on the perception of brain mechanisms, the second experiment was an ERP experiment with an oddball paradigm. In the ERP experiment involving 15 proficient Mongolian-Chinese bilinguals and 14 nonproficient bilinguals who were set to distinguish dark blue (dark green) and light blue (light green), we examined brain activities by observing the visual mismatch negativity (vMMN) as an electrophysiological index of preattentive change detection, which peaked at approximately 200 ms.

The results of the visual search task showed that the CCP effect of nonproficient bilinguals was significant, while that of proficient bilinguals was not. The present conclusion of the visual search task suggests that the category of L2 influences the category of L1. The ERP study found that nonproficient bilinguals have a greater brain potential amplitude of vMMN than do proficient bilinguals when distinguishing dark blue and light blue or dark green and light green. Considering vMMN as an index of the preattentive process, L2 learning affected the preattentive perceptual processing of bilinguals.

The results of the present study proved the proficiency of Chinese influence on the CCP effect in Mongolian-Chinese bilinguals and indicated that language does affect preattentive perceptual processing, where this procession may be implicit. The bilinguals’ concept of the two languages may interfere with each other, thus supporting Spair-Whorf hypothesis.

Key words: color categorical perception, Mongolian, bilinguals, vMMN, Spair-Whorf hypothesis