chapter  6
Cognition, perception, affect
Colour and light
ByAndrew Cochrane, Andrew Meirion Jones
Pages 12

This chapter is concerned with images, how people see images, and how images affect. The debate within contemporary Western philosophy, cognitive science and neuropsychology on how people see deserves a book in its own right. This chapter focuses on visual perception, and particularly the perception of colour and light. Visual perception or conscious vision is thought to occur in the brain, with the brain making contact with the external environment through the sense organs. The chapter also focuses on ivory artefacts as a means of discussing how materials behave in dynamic light ranges. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, elephant ivory became increasingly available, and there was a taste for fashioning small-scale statuettes depicting the Virgin and Child in ivory. Basket-shaped beads of mammoth ivory are a characteristic material form of the Aurignacian period of the Upper Palaeolithic. Beads are often found in large numbers in the earliest Upper Palaeolithic assemblages suggesting that identity and differentiation were significant.