Colour categories in a stone-age tribe J. Davidoff, I. Davies, D. Roberson Nature 398, 203–204 (1999)
The colour-naming pattern of Berinmo speakers may appear consistent with that obtaining in tritanopia1, a colour-vision disorder that has an increased frequency in other tropical areas2 and can arise from chronic exposure to short-wavelength light3. Furthermore, it could be argued that an isolated tribe may have become tritanopic through a shared genetic defect. However, our Berinmo speakers were not tritanopic. They were tested with the City University Colour Vision Test4 that specifically assesses tritanopia. The test consists of ten plates, and all speakers who failed any of the plates were eliminated from our study. The failure rate was 7 out of 83 speakers tested during the course of the study.
Pokorny, J., Smith, V. C., Verriest, G. & Pinckers, A. J. L. G. Congenital and Acquired Color Vision Defects (Grune & Stratton, New York, 1979).
Davies, I. R. L., Laws, G., Corbett, G. G. & Jerrett, D. J. Pers. Ind. Diff. 25 1153–1162 (1998).
Werner, J. S., Peterzell, D. H. & Scheetz, A. J. Optom. Vis. Sci. 67 214–229 (1990).
Fletcher, R. The City University Colour Vision Test 2nd edn (Keeler, London, 1980).
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