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Criteria for basic tastes and other sensory primaries

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  08 April 2008

James E. Cutting
Department of Psychology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853-7601. jec7@cornell.edu


Primary, or basic, colors have been discussed for centuries. Over time, three criteria have emerged on their behalf: (a) their physical mixture yielding all other spectral colors, (b) the physiological attunement of receptors or pathways to particular wavelengths, and (c) the etymological history of the color term. These criteria can be applied usefully to taste to clarify issues.

Open Peer Commentary
Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2008

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