Urban experience alters lightness perception

Karina Linnell, Andrew Bremner, Serge Caparos, Jules Davidoff, Jan De Fockert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
230 Downloads (Pure)


We present the first empirical evidence that experience alters lightness perception. The role of experience in lightness perception was investigated through a cross-cultural comparison of 2 visual contrast phenomena: simultaneous lightness contrast and White’s illusion. The Himba, a traditional seminomadic group known to have a local bias in perception, showed enhanced simultaneous lightness contrast but reduced White’s illusion compared with groups that have a more global perceptual style: Urban-dwelling Himba and Westerners. Thus, experience of the urban environment alters lightness perception and we argue it does this by fostering the tendency to integrate information from across the visual scene.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2–6
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jan 2018


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