How Does Your Brain Process Color Words?
Do you ever wonder how your brain processes information? You can take a closer look using the Stroop Test, which explores how your brain recognizes words and colors. In one way, the test seems easy, but you might find it more challenging than you’d think. How well can you do?
Materials needed for the Stroop Test:
- Stroop Test Cards (download here)
Let’s get started:
1. Select Card 1.
2. Start the stopwatch and read the words on Card 1 as quickly as possible. As soon as you’re finished, stop the stopwatch and record the time it took to read through the card in your Results.
3. Repeat Step 2 with Card 2.
4. Continuing with Card 2, repeat Step 2, this time naming the color of each word rather than reading the word itself.
5. Find a friend or family member and have them complete the experiment while you time them.
Record Your Results:
Stroop Test Times
Which trial required the most time? Why do you think this was the case?
Each part of your brain is specialized to process unique types of information. Words are processed toward the sides of your brain in the temporal lobe of the cerebrum, whereas colors are processed at the back of your brain in the occipital lobe.
- Was your brain able to process words or colors more quickly?
- Did the speed change when the words matched the colors?
- Do your results indicate a learned connection between the two brain regions?
When words and colors don’t match, your brain takes longer to process the conflicting information. It’s a fascinating way to test our brain’s abilities to process different information. Colors and words are just the beginning— your brain processes everything from sounds to temperature and everything in between. In light of that, your brain works pretty fast!
Your brain is constantly learning and growing. How would your results change if you repeated the test multiple times?