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The Mind's Eye: Decoding Colour Experience

Project description

Deciphering the neural processing of colour

The way each individual consciously views the world is unique. Colour, for example, is experienced subjectively, yet little is known about the neural mechanisms responsible for colour perception. The EU-funded COLOURCODE project will investigate the brain processes and pinpoint the underlying mechanism involved in colour perception using an array of analytical neuroscience and psychophysical techniques. Moreover, it aims to determine the timing of rhythmic neural activity associated with colour and gauge how individuals perceive colour differently by examining the number and type of sensors in the eye. Ultimately, the project will advance our understanding of brain processes in response to stimuli, introducing new methodologies in neural and vision science.


The most extraordinary products of the human mind are personal, subjective experiences such as the qualitative experience of the redness of red, yet the question of what process or processes in the brain give rise to conscious experiences remains one of the greatest scientific mysteries. The COLOURCODE project will use colour as a model system to tackle important questions necessary to approach an answer. First, COLOURCODE aims to elucidate the representation of colour in the human brain that underlies how colours appear and are experienced. Second, it aims to provide the first investigation of how the precise timing of rhythmic neural activity represents colour and drives colour perception and experience. Third, by measuring how individuals perceive colour differently from one another, the project aims to determine how colour experience is constrained by the number and type of sensors in the eye and information received from the external world. COLOURCODE will use an innovative combination of psychophysics and individual differences, along with a diverse suite of neuroscience methods including electroencephalography (EEG), steady state visually evoked potentials, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS). COLOURCODE will provide the most detailed characterisation yet of how a stimulus attribute is represented by the human brain, driving a greater understanding of representation in neuroscience. Determining for the first time the encoding capacity of rhythmic brain activity will cause a paradigm shift in vision science as it is not part of existing theoretical models. COLOURCODE’s theoretical advances and methodological innovations will lead us closer to answering one of the most formidable questions in science and philosophy - the question of what processes give rise to conscious perceptual experiences.


Net EU contribution
€ 1 492 132,00
Sussex house falmer
BN1 9RH Brighton
United Kingdom

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South East (England) Surrey, East and West Sussex Brighton and Hove
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (1)