Michael Webster is a Foundation Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno, and Director of the University's Center for Integrative Neuroscience (an NIH COBRE). He received his PhD from UC Berkeley in 1988 and was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge from 1988-1994. His research has focused on color and form perception, and how these percepts are shaped by adaptation to physical properties of the environment or physiological properties of the observer. He also studies the patterns and bases for individual differences in color perception.
Monday, June 11 - PM General Session
Color in Language, Culture, and the Environment
The spectrum of light varies continuously but languages parse this continuum into a small number of discrete categories. The bases for these categories have been studied extensively but remain unresolved. Armed with Munsell's palette, Berlin and Kay sampled color terms across a wide range of cultures, revealing strong similarities in color categories. However, in the decades since there continue to be new challenges and insights about color perception and color naming, work that bridges perception and cognition, and the individual and their environment. I will review these developments and our current understanding of the nature and meaning of color categories.