Skip to main content


Swipe om te navigeren naar een ander artikel

01-01-2015 | Original Article | Uitgave 1/2015

Psychological Research 1/2015

On the purposes of color for living beings: toward a theory of color organization

Psychological Research > Uitgave 1/2015
Baingio Pinna, Adam Reeves


Phylogenetic and paleontological evidence indicates that in the animal kingdom the ability to perceive colors evolved independently several times over the course of millennia. This implies a high evolutionary neural investment and suggests that color vision provides some fundamental biological benefits. What are these benefits? Why are some animals so colorful? What are the adaptive and perceptual meanings of polychromatism? We suggest that in addition to the discrimination of light and surface chromaticity, sensitivity to color contributes to the whole, the parts and the fragments of perceptual organization. New versions of neon color spreading and the watercolor illusion indicate that the visual purpose of color in humans is threefold: to inter-relate each chromatic component of an object, thus favoring the emergence of the whole; to support a part–whole organization in which components reciprocally enhance each other by amodal completion; and, paradoxically, to reveal fragments and hide the whole—that is, there is a chromatic parceling-out process of separation, division, and fragmentation of the whole. The evolution of these contributions of color to organization needs to be established, but traces of it can be found in Harlequin camouflage by animals and in the coloration of flowers.

Log in om toegang te krijgen

Met onderstaand(e) abonnement(en) heeft u direct toegang:

BSL Psychologie Totaal

Met BSL Psychologie Totaal blijft u als professional steeds op de hoogte van de nieuwste ontwikkelingen binnen uw vak. Met het online abonnement heeft u toegang tot een groot aantal boeken, protocollen, vaktijdschriften en e-learnings op het gebied van psychologie en psychiatrie. Zo kunt u op uw gemak en wanneer het u het beste uitkomt verdiepen in uw vakgebied.

Over dit artikel

Andere artikelen Uitgave 1/2015

Psychological Research 1/2015 Naar de uitgave