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The Whorfian mind: electrophysiological evidence that language shapes perception

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>07/2009
<mark>Journal</mark>Communicative and Integrative Biology
Issue number4
Volume2
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)332-334
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Color perception has been a traditional test-case of the idea that the language we speak affects our perception of the world.1 It is now established that categorical perception of color is verbally mediated and varies with culture and language.2 However, it is unknown whether the well-demonstrated language effects on color discrimination really reach down to the level of visual perception, or whether they only reflect post-perceptual cognitive processes. Using brain potentials in a color oddball detection task with Greek and English speakers, we demonstrate that language effects may exist at a level that is literally perceptual, suggesting that speakers of different languages have differently structured minds.