An Investigation of the Effects of Practice on Color Memory as a Function of Condition, Dimension and Color
Forty-two college aged participants took part in a mixed repeated measures factorial design experiment that assessed color memory as a function of condition (practice with feedback, practice without feedback and no practice), dimension (hue, saturation and lightness) and color (red, yellow, green and blue). Attention was focused on the distinction between memory color and color memory, color experience and preference, mechanisms of color perception and theories of color vision (see below). Only two significant effects were found: a significant main effect for dimension and a significant interaction between dimension and color. Pearson correlations were assessed between color memory and color experience, color preference and observer imagery. None of the correlations were significant. The results of the experiments revealed that practice does not have a significant effect on color memory and the conclusion, therefore, is that the phenomenon of color memory is not improved by practice. A tentative explanation involves the early stages of color processing which are presumed to be computational in nature and to take place independently of cognitive processes such as learning and memory, which do not take place until visual information has reached the extrastriate areas. By that time, color information has been combined with information about context, in area V4 of the human visual cortex (Zeki & Marini, 1998). Although it has been shown through this experiment that practice does not improve memory for color, the possibility remains that practice may improve memory color for specific objects - namely ecologically relevant stimuli - since memory color involves higher order processing, such as learning and memory.