Perception of Colored Objects



We study the dynamics of color space, depending on the complexity of pattern stimulation of the eyes, beginning from a homogeneous light emission of different spectral compositions and intensities, which, upon being stimulated by them, the retina generates the aperture colors, and up to the images of real objects, characterized by different backgrounds, different textures and shapes. Such stimuli present a color closer to the color of the object that we see in the real environment. Building a color space in all cases was based on assessments of large, above-threshold differences between the stimuli and on the analysis of the matrix of pair wise differences by the same method of multi-dimensional scaling. An analysis of the data showed that distinguishing of colors is more complex from the psycho-physical point of view stimuli (images of real objects, the main characteristics of which are changing texture and shape), according to the judgments of color differences, has more simple geometrical structure than the distinguishing of «simple» aperture colors. Simplification of the color space of real objects also regards the dimension of color space (it is not increased but decreased) as its metric (which degenerates to the level of an ordinal scale). In accordance with this we can formulate a position that the color perception of real objects is based on categorical principles that have common linguistic roots with speech. Thus, when developing the theory of visual perception psychophysical methodology alone is not enough for the description of the perception of complex stimuli (which are much more close to the real objects of the environment); a psycholinguistic methodology should also be used.

General Information

Keywords: aperture color, subject color, color distinguishing, color space, color-metric, multidimensional scaling

Journal rubric: Psychophysiology

For citation: Izmailov C.A., Khanmagomedova M.A., Pavlova M.K. Perception of Colored Objects . Eksperimental'naâ psihologiâ = Experimental Psychology (Russia), 2009. Vol. 2, no. 4, pp. 5–25. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


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Information About the Authors

Ch. A. Izmailov, Doctor of Psychology, Dr. Sci. in Psychology, Professor, Department of Psychophysiology, Faculty of Psychology, Lomonosov Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:

Mehriban A. Khanmagomedova, Post Graduate Student, Chair of Psychology, Dagestan State Pedagogical University, e-mail:

Marina K. Pavlova, PhD in Psychology, Lecturer, the Developmental Psychology Chair, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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