Learning the name of a color changes the part of the brain that handles color perception.

Infants perceive color in the right hemisphere of the brain, while adults do the job in the brain’s left hemisphere by seeing the word instead of a clear perception of the color.iut1

Testing toddlers showed that the change occurred when the youngsters learned the names to attach to particular colors, scientists reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

It appears that somehow the brain, when it has categories such as color, it actually consults those categories rather than looking directly at a particular color.

Words signify man’s refusal to accept the world as it is. ~Walter Kaufmann

Be not the slave of Words. ~Thomas Carlyle

ag1h1 The researchers did a similar experiment with silhouettes of dogs and cats with the same result — once a child learns the name for the animal, perception moves from the right to the left side of the brain.

This is important to know because it’s part of a debate that’s gone on as long as there has been philosophy or science, about how the language we speak affects how we look at the world… scholars continue to discuss the comparative importance of “nature versus nurture” or the right brain versus the left brain.

j041181884180008_std2Researchers studied the time it took toddlers to begin eye movement toward a colored target in either their left or right field of vision to determine which half of the brain was processing the information.


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