Any environmental phenomenon is primarily perceived by our sensory system, before it is categorized, interpreted and assigned a meaning. Vision provides about 90% of the sensorial information we build up from the surrounding reality. This includes the possibility for colour perception. In the process of visual perception other senses are constantly involved, and they provide an integrated representation of the phenomena, which is encoded in memory and shared by culture.
The categorization and the interpretation of colour are a priori emotional and vary from culture to culture. Languages themselves are prone to variation in color naming: color names have their own “cultural memory”, i.e. they “remember” or “forget” some notions relevant to the speakers’ cultural tradition. Moreover, some cultures do not even define the word "color" per se. Color metaphors are pervasive across languages, very often related with the conveyance of emotional content, yet also very variable in their content association.
Color is a strong semiotic resource and moreover a powerful instrument for meaning conveyance and communication. This potential is widely used in a range of fields, from art and color therapy, to interior design and fashion, from advertising, e-branding and marketing to social, ethnic or nation affiliation. Borderline phenomena such as involuntary synaesthesia, in which the perception of color is pervasive even in its sensorial absence, are particularly interesting to consider.
This interdisciplinary conference addresses the interaction between the physiological perception of color and its cultural representation.



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