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Spotting fruit versus picking fruit as the selective advantage of human colour vision

Bompas, Aline Elisabeth Dominique, Kendall, Grace Elizabeth and Sumner, Petroc 2013. Spotting fruit versus picking fruit as the selective advantage of human colour vision. Perception 4 (2) , pp. 84-94. 10.1068/i0564

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Abstract

The spatiochromatic properties of the red–green dimension of human colour vision appear to be optimized for picking fruit in leaves at about arms' reach. However, other evidence suggests that the task of spotting fruit from a distance might be more important. This discrepancy may arise because the task a system (e.g. human trichromacy) is best at is not necessarily the same task where the largest advantage occurs over the evolutionary alternatives (dichromacy or anomalous trichromacy). We tested human dichromats, anomalous trichromats and "normal" trichromats in a naturalistic visual search task in which they had to find fruit pieces in a bush at 1, 4, 8 or 12 m viewing distance. We found that the largest advantage (in terms of either performance ratio or performance difference) of normal trichromacy over both types of colour deficiency was for the largest viewing distance. We infer that in the evolution of human colour vision, spotting fruit from a distance was a more important selective advantage than picking fruit at arms' reach.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Pion
ISSN: 2041-6695
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:47
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/44761

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