Neural correlates of acquired color category effects
Category training can induce category effects, whereby color discrimination of stimuli spanning a newly learned category boundary is enhanced relative to equivalently spaced stimuli from within the newly learned category (e.g., categorical perception). However, the underlying mechanisms of these acquired category effects are not fully understood. In the current study, Event-Related Potentials (ERPs) were recorded during a visual oddball task where standard and deviant colored stimuli from the same or different novel categories were presented. ERPs were recorded for a test group who were trained on these novel categories, and for an untrained control group. Category effects were only found for the test group on the trained region of color space, and only occurred during post-perceptual stages of processing. These findings provide new evidence for the involvement of cognitive mechanisms in acquired category effects and suggest that category effects of this kind can exist independent of early perceptual processes. © 2012.