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The Sapir-Whorf hypothesis cannot be extended to include differentiation of luminance

By M.J. Dekker


Recent research has shown there is psychophysical evidence for the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis as it pertains to color discrimination, showing that differences in semantic language categories could predict different performance on a visual search task. The present study investigated the difference in visual field and corresponding hemispheres for categorical perception for brightness. A visual search task consisting of luminance contrasts was used to investigate aforementioned differences. Results showed that the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis cannot be extended to include differentiation of luminance, but some results pertaining to contrast discrimination were found, such as the interaction between lexical categories and polarity of the stimulus, warranting further research in contrast discrimination

Topics: Sapir-Whorf, visual search task, hemispheres, categorical perception, brightness, luminance, contrast, contrast discrimination
Year: 2011
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