By Shota Hatano
Some tropical fishes and also some wild animals and insects have strong stripe (zebra) patterns of vivid colors on their bodies. It is said those zebra stripes are so conspicuous that they conceal their body lines and consequently lower the probability for being caught by their predators. The aim of the present study was to verify the hypothesis that the zebra stripes really interferes the recognition of targets experimentally. A series of stimuli consisted of alphabets, “Hiragana (Japanese characters)”, and figures, with and without zebra stripes (vertical or horizontal, and of three revels of spatial densities) of achromatic color were shortly presented one by one on the PC monitor and the reaction times for their recognition were obtained. The results are somewhat controversial, but generally tends to deny the above hypothesis, i.e. the targets with zebra stripes were easier to recognize than plain ones were.
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