We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Colour Constancy: Cues, Priors and Development

WEDGE-ROBERTS, REBECCA,JANE (2021) Colour Constancy: Cues, Priors and Development. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

PDF - Accepted Version


Colour is crucial for detecting, recognising, and interacting with objects. However, the reflected wavelength of light ("colour") varies vastly depending on the illumination. Whilst adults can judge colours as relatively invariant under changing illuminations (colour constancy), much remains unknown, which this thesis aims to resolve. Firstly, previous studies have shown adults can use certain cues to estimate surface colour. However, one proposed cue - specular highlights - has been little researched so this is explored here. Secondly, the existing data on a daylight prior for colour constancy remain inconclusive so we aimed to further investigate this. Finally, no studies have investigated the development of colour constancy during childhood so the third aim is to determine at what age colour constancy becomes adult-like.

In the introduction, existing research is discussed, including cues to the illuminant, daylight priors, and the development of perceptual constancies.

The second chapter contains three experiments conducted to determine whether adults can use a specular highlight cue and/ or daylight prior to aid colour constancy. Results showed adults can use specular highlights when other cues are weakened. Evidence for a daylight prior was weak.

In the third chapter the development of colour constancy during childhood was investigated by developing a novel child-friendly task. Children had higher constancy than adults, and evidence for a daylight prior was mixed.

The final experimental chapter used the task developed in Chapter 3 to ask whether children can use specular highlights as a cue for colour constancy. Testing was halted early due to the coronavirus pandemic, yet the data obtained suggest that children are negatively impacted by specular highlights.

Finally, in the general discussion, the results of the six experiments are brought together to draw conclusions regarding the use of cues and priors, and the development of colour constancy. Implications and future directions for research are discussed.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Colour constancy; development; cues; priors; perception; vision; colour vision
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Psychology, Department of
Thesis Date:2021
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:19 Jul 2021 11:45

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter