Color perception and attentional load in dynamic, time-constrained environments

Stefanie Hüttermann, Nicholas J. Smeeton, Paul R. Ford, A. Mark Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The capacity to perceive color in the peripheral field has attracted research interest for more than a decade. There is evidence that sensitivity to red-green color variations is lower than for yellow-blue in peripheral vision. Whether, and to what extent, color vision affects the visual focus of attention, which is normally much smaller than the visual field, has not yet been examined. We used a sport-specific decision-making task to assess whether the color of the jersey worn by players appearing in the periphery influences decision making by affecting the attentional and perceptual capabilities. Pairs of players wearing chromatic (blue, yellow, red, and green) and achromatic (black, white) colored jerseys were briefly presented across a range of visual angles on a 6 m concave immersive screen. Participants were required to decide to whom to pass and recall relevant information. Findings indicate that color perception changes vary with increasing visual angle, but that the focus of attention is too small to be influenced by jersey color sensitivity. Decision-making performance decreases with increasing visual angle, but is not influenced by color. The implications for decision-making processes in sport and other professional domains are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2614
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 Hüttermann, Smeeton, Ford and Williams. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.


  • Color sensitivity
  • Cone distribution
  • Decision making
  • Focus of attention
  • Football


Dive into the research topics of 'Color perception and attentional load in dynamic, time-constrained environments'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this