Zach Shipstead and Matt Adams
Color vision in the eye,as detected by the cones, is concentrated in the center of the visual field. In the periphery, the cones begin to dissipate and are replaced by rods. The aim of this experiment is to determine what colors the peripheral vision is most sensitive to. The independent variable is the color being used, the dependent variable is at what point the color will be correctly identified.
The subjects in the experiment were made up of 6 males and 4 female college students. In order to determine which colors are detected in the periphery, subjects were asked to judge the color of samples which were moved by five degree increments into their field of vision, beginning at a point 90 degrees from the center of the subjects vision.
The selected colors were green, blue, yellow, purple and red; represented on the Munsel Color chart as 2.5g, 5PB, 3.75y, 5P, and 6.25R respectively. A black sample was occasionally used to confuse the subjects' notions of evident colors. An Optometric Perimeter was used for measuring the angle of the object in relation to the center of the eye. One researcher watched the eyes of the subject to make sure no direct looks are given to the test objects, while another brought the colors inward by hand. Two tests were run for each eye, color order was random.
Yellow was, on average, the most quickly identified color(see figure 1) at 73 degrees in the right eye and 73.5 in the left, red was second(72, 70.5). The least recognizable colors were green(60.5, 64.25) and purple(64, 63). Blue was recognized at 68.75 degrees from the center of the right eye, and 68 from the left. In addition the subjects often identified the color green as being either purple or red and in one case pink before reporting a sudden shift to a perception of the actual color.
Upon examining the results yellow's status as the most quickly recognizable color may be due to the fact that it was much brighter than the other colors.
Thinking in evolutionary terms, it would seem logical that green be the least recognizable color and red and blue be above it, since the areas that humans came from are often covered with green landscape. It would be important to notice objects that stood out from the scenery as early as possible since they could easily be predators or other dangers. By this rational it would also be logical that yellow be a color that is detectable early on, because although it does contain green, yellow perceived without green is red.
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Alma College Psychology Department