An Investigation of Color Memory as a Function of Hue, Saturation, Lightness and Observer Imagery Vividness for Blue, Green and Orange Test Hues

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Virginia Tech

Fifty-two college-aged observers participated in an experiment assessing color memory via a PowerPoint '97 computer display program which varied one of the three dimensions of hue, saturation and lightness at a time. Consistent with previous research, errors were greater for the lightness conditions followed by saturation, and least for hue conditions Additionally, a signal detection analysis indicated that d-prime was greatest for the hue conditions, less for saturation and lowest for lightness conditions. There were also significant but unpredicted differences in response criterion which may reflect task difficulty. Scores on the Vividness of Visual Imagery Questionnaire (Marks, 1973) were, in general, not correlated with performance on these color memory tasks, inconsistent with previous research. The role of complexity of neuronal circuitry, the significance for opponent-process, trichromatic and retinex color vision theories and the relationship to Sokolov's model of color memory were discussed. Also, it was concluded that investigators of color memory using a computer display are well-advised to calibrate the monitor with a colorimeter because the internal computer units may be unreliable indexes of changes in hue, saturation and lightness.

CRT Displays, Colorimeter, Color Perception, VVIQ, Color Memory, Signal Detection Theory