Thursday, September 20, 2012

Chelsea Schnorrbusch post 1

For my first post, I watched the video, "BBC Horizon: Do you see what I see? 'The Himba Tribe'" which can be found on youtube. 

This video first started off discussing how babies are colorblind up until around three months of age. After that, their brains recognize color, even before they learn the language to talk about colors. When children's brains do recognize color, the information is stored in the right hemisphere of the brain. The interesting part about this is that once children learn the language that our society uses to describe color, that coding of information is actually switched over to the left hemisphere. This finding means that language changes the way we perceive color.

To further build on this idea, studies were done in the Himba tribe, who use very different categorizing in their language to discuss colors. They use half of the terms than we do (the American language uses eleven terms), and these terms each cover a range colors. 

To test if the people of the Himba tribe actually see the world differently from us, people of the tribe were shown a few sets of squares arranged in a circle that were all the same color except for one square. The first set of squares were all green, only one of the squares was a different shade of green-- to me they all looked the same color at first, while the Himba tribe member picked out the different color almost right away. The next set of squares were all green, while the odd square of the group was blue-- I could spot the different square instantly, while the Himba tribe member was stumped in the video. 

The conclusion of the video was that language used to describe colors actually shapes the way people see colors and changes the way we see the world around us.

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