MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Re: Brain confuses the words of colors with the color each word is written in??

Date: Sun Mar 11 02:53:47 2001
Posted By: Paulette Caswell, Theoretical Synthesist, Neuroscience Researcher, Ph.D. Candidate
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 980380693.Ns

Colors, as color images, are stored and processed in the right cerebral 
hemisphere, often known as the "right brain" (in right-handed people). Verbal 
language is stored and processed in the left cerebral hemisphere, often known 
as the "left brain" (in right-handed people).

Therefore, if you are asking the question, verbally, "What color is this?" then 
the person will be hearing verbal language, and will respond in verbal 
language. They will see the word "red" as a WORD, not as a picture, and they 
will access the sounds of that word "reh-d" as a verbal file in their "left 

People who are fluent readers don't see the printed words as "graphic 
pictures."  They see the printed words as written codes for the sounds 
represented -- in other words, they "listen to" the alphabetic letters.  

The human brain is the only type of brain on earth that has a special section 
for phonemic (sound-based speech) language. And the human brain prefers the 
left-brain phonemic language to pictures or graphic images, when 
determining "meaning."

So, if the human brain is literate, and can read the alphabetic letters 
fluently, the brain will automatically prefer the phonemic "speech sound" 
translation of the alphabetic letters, and will not see the alphabetic letters 
as "colored images."

You might wish to write the same words in Japanese characters, and then test 
some people who don't know the Japanese language at all. Since they can't 
decode the printed Japanese characters into phonemic (speech sound) words, they 
will see the characters as "graphic pictorial color images," and they will 
probably tell you the colors of the characters when you ask them your question.

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