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The Science of Social Vision$
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Reginald B. Adams, Nalini Ambady, Ken Nakayama, and Shinsuke Shimojo

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195333176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333176.001.0001

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Social Color Vision

Social Color Vision

Chapter:
(p.278) Chapter 16 Social Color Vision
Source:
The Science of Social Vision
Author(s):

Mark A. Changizi

Shinsuke Shimojo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195333176.003.0017

This chapter reviews evidence supporting the hypothesis that color vision is a kind of social vision, about the emotional states and moods of others. The argument from the first of the three main sections of the chapter centers on evidence that our perception of skin is organized so that we are maximally able to discriminate spectral changes around baseline skin color, akin to the way in which we are maximally able to discriminate temperature changes of skin around baseline skin temperature. The argument from the second section concerns evidence that our primate cone sensitivities have been designed by natural selection to sense the subtle spectrum changes that occur with modulations of hemoglobin oxygenation. Finally, the third section presents evidence that it is the primates with color vision that are bare-skinned; the nontrichromatic primates are furry faced, like a typical mammal. This is just as the hypothesis would predict if color vision is about skin.

Keywords:   color vision, skin color, primates, emotional states, mood, social perception

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