Language and Age Related Aspects of Categorical Colour Perception



This paper continues a series of research on the problem of language determination of colour perception, this time focusing on the age related changes in intercategorical and intracategorical colour recognition. The authors carried out a comparative research on Russian and Komi children using a computerized version of the visual search test and analysed the effects of the following four factors: children's native language, age, and colour and position of the target stimulus. Due to the specificity of colour naming in different languages the same experimental task actually meant two different challenges: intercategorical colour recognition for Russian speaking children and intracategorical for Komi speaking children. As mit was revealed, intercategorical recognition required less time than intracategorical one, thanks to the verbal colour coding. The outcomes of the research proved that the individual's native language affects his/her colour perception, which, in turn, supports the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis on linguistic relativity. The influence of linguistic mechanisms on color perception and recognition increases over a lifetime.

General Information

Keywords: linguistic relativity hypothesis, visual search, intercategorical and intracetegorical colour recognition, functional brain asymmetry

Journal rubric: Empirical Research

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Goncharov O.A., Knyazev N.N. Language and Age Related Aspects of Categorical Colour Perception. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2012. Vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 40–48. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Oleg A. Goncharov, Doctor of Psychology, assistant professor, Professor, Department of Psychology, Faculty of Social and Human Sciences, International University of Nature, Society and Man «Dubna», Professor of the Faculty of Practical Psychology of the Moscow Higher School of Social and Economic Sciences. Member of the editorial board of the Psychological Journal of the University of Dubna, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Nikita N. Knyazev, student at the Institute of Social Technologies, Syktyvkar State University, Syktyvkar, Russia, e-mail:



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