ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2019, Vol. 51 ›› Issue (11): 1229-1243.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01229

• 研究报告 • 上一篇    下一篇


谢书书1, 张积家2(), 朱君3   

  1. 1. 集美大学师范学院, 厦门 361021
    2. 中国人民大学心理学系、国家民委民族语言文化心理重点研究基地、教育部民族教育发展中心民族心理与教育重点研究基地, 北京 100872
    3. 广东省轻工业高级技工学校, 广州 510310
  • 收稿日期:2019-03-19 出版日期:2019-11-25 发布日期:2019-09-24
  • 通讯作者: 张积家
  • 基金资助:
    * 福建省社会科学规划项目(FJ2016B286);中国人民大学科学研究基金(中央高校科研业务费专项资金资助项目)(17XNL002);国家留学基金(留金发[2018]3058号)

Categorical perception of color is significant both in the right visual field and the left: Evidence from Naxi speakers and Mandarin speakers

XIE Shushu1, ZHANG Jijia2(), ZHU Jun3   

  1. 1. Teachers College, Jimei University, Xiamen 361021, China
    2. Department of Psychology, Renmin University of China; The State Ethnic Affairs Commission Key Research, Center for Language, Cultural, and Psychology; Key Research Center for National Psychology and Education, the National Education Development Center of the Ministry of Education, Beijing 100872, China
    3. Guangdong Province Technician Institute of Light Industry, Guangzhou 510310, China
  • Received:2019-03-19 Online:2019-11-25 Published:2019-09-24
  • Contact: ZHANG Jijia


采用色环搜索单任务和双任务范式, 考察语言中区分蓝、绿的汉族和语言中蓝、绿混用的纳西族对蓝色和绿色的辨别是否存在颜色范畴知觉效应(Categorical perception, 以下简称为CP效应)。结果发现:(1)纳西族对蓝色和绿色的区分比汉族困难, 体现了语言的作用; (2)语言中蓝、绿混用的纳西族与语言中区分蓝、绿的汉族都出现显著的蓝绿CP效应; (3)两个民族被试的左视野的CP效应受到图形记忆次任务的显著干扰, 说明左视野的CP效应与右脑激活有关。整个研究表明, 颜色CP效应既存在普遍的知觉机制, 也存在语言驱动机制, 语言的作用存在直接效应。研究结果支持颜色词与颜色认知的相互作用理论。

关键词: 颜色范畴知觉效应, 双侧化, Whorf假设, 纳西族, 汉族


Categorical perception (CP) effect indicates that people are faster and more accurately at discriminating between two colors from different categories than two colors from the same category, even when between- and within-category chromatic separation sizes are equated. CP effect is an important evidence for the controversy between Sapir-Whorf hypothesis and the Universal Evolution theory (UE). The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis holds that CP is language-driven. They found that CP is left-lateralized and is disrupted by verbal, but not by nonverbal interference task. Moreover, the language-driven CP also got support from cross-language researches and neurophysiological studies. However, the Universal Evolution theory (UE) holds that CP effect results from universal focal colors and is independent from language. The current study presented three experiments that replicated and extended the earlier studies by using the same task but different participants. We compared green-blue discrimination of Chinese Naxi ethnic who speaks Naxi language and Chinese Han ethnic who speaks Mandarin. The two ethnics have different semantic boundaries of green-blue.

There are three experiments in the current study. In experiment 1, Participants were given a visual search task that required them to detect a single target color among 11 identical distracters. The stimuli were two colors G1 and G2 from green category (Munsell 7.5G and 7.5BG) and two colors B1 and B2 from blue category (Munsell 2.5BG and 2.5B). Four colors formed a graded series from green to blue, with the green-blue boundary falling between G2 and B1. In the visual search task, each stimulus display consisted of a ring of colored squares surrounding a central fixation marker. All squares were of the same color except the target. Participants were asked to press “F” or “J” key as soon and correctly as possible to indicate whether the target was in the left or right side of the circle. Experiment 2 was to ensure that the difference between the two groups in experiment 1 was not due to the slow reaction of the Naxi people to all colors. In experiment 3 block 1, participants were asked to finish green-blue visual search task and nonverbal interference task at the same time, and visual search task and verbal interference task in block 2.

Reaction time and accuracy of the visual search task showed that: 1) It was more difficult for the Naxi speakers, who always use the same word to express green and blue, to discriminate green and blue than the Mandarin speakers; 2) The categorical perception (CP) effect was found both in Naxi and Mandarin speakers. CP of Naxi speakers is probably related to their using similar-color objects to describe different colors in green-blue category; 3) The CP of Naxi and Mandarin speakers are both significant in the right visual field (RVF) and the left visual field (LVF). Moreover, the CP in the LVF was disrupted by the secondary task that engaged spatial working memory. Both the CP in the LVF and the CP in the RVF was disrupted by the verbal interference task. These results indicate that the CP in the LVF is related to the fact that Naxi and Mandarin language activates the right hemisphere.

All the findings reported here provide a more complex possible explanation of CP. Firstly, Naxi speakers were significantly more difficult to discriminate green and blue than Mandarin speakers. It supports the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis that language affects color perception. Secondly, CP appeared notably both in Naxi speakers and Mandarin speakers. It showed the online language effect on color perception, and supported universal category perception as well. Thirdly, CP was found both in the RVF and LVF. Moreover, CP in the LVF was disrupted by the pattern-memory task, and CP in the LVF and RVF were both disrupted by the verbal task. The results support the perspective combining the Universal Evolution theory (UE) and the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis.

Key words: categorical perception, bilateral effects, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Naxi speakers, Mandarin speakers.