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Independent effects of colour on object identification and memory

Lloyd-Jones, Toby J.; Nakabayashi, Kazuyo


Toby J. Lloyd-Jones


We examined the effects of colour on object identification and memory using a study-test priming procedure with a coloured-object decision task at test (i.e., deciding whether an object is correctly coloured). Objects were selected to have a single associated colour and were either correctly or incorrectly coloured. In addition, object shape and colour were either spatially integrated (i.e., colour fell on the object surface) or spatially separated (i.e., colour formed the background to the object). Transforming the colour of an object from study to test (e.g., from a yellow banana to a purple banana) reduced priming of response times, as compared to when the object was untransformed. This utilization of colour information in object memory was not contingent upon colour falling on the object surface or whether the resulting configuration was of a correctly or incorrectly coloured object. In addition, we observed independent effects of colour on response times, whereby coloured-object decisions were more efficient for correctly than for incorrectly coloured objects but only when colour fell on the object surface. These findings provide evidence for two distinct mechanisms of shape-colour binding in object processing.


Lloyd-Jones, T. J., & Nakabayashi, K. (2009). Independent effects of colour on object identification and memory. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, 62(2), 310-322.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 20, 2009
Publication Date Apr 1, 2009
Print ISSN 1747-0218
Electronic ISSN 1747-0226
Publisher Routledge
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 62
Issue 2
Pages 310-322
Keywords Experimental and Cognitive Psychology; Physiology (medical); Physiology; General Psychology; Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology; General Medicine
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