color and memory

In Experiments on February 5, 2010 by nameplace

I was at my supervisor’s desk a couple of weeks back, receiving instruction on a new assignment, when a peach sharpie marker drew my attention… there were a bunch of other writing utensils sitting in a cup on the desk, including several other colored sharpies but when I saw the peach-colored one, it instantly brought to mind images from an old Nintendo video game I was once fond of playing: Megaman (3!). Although the colors don’t translate very well in these images below, Spark Man’s signature colors and the color of the “Spark Shock” meter was exactly the color of the plastic marker cap! All the other associations I had with that weapon, including when and how it was used in the game flooded into my mind. I guess this example speaks to the subjectivity of color perception. Other fans of Megaman, shown the same sharpie, may not have thought about the color the same way I did- perhaps the color settings on my TV screen and the combination of fluorescent and natural light on the marker were just enough to influence how I saw the color and ultimately how my brain connected it to a memory of a video game 🙂


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