“I got interested in perception by accident!” – Yasmina Jraissati

YasminaJraissatiWhat is the most interesting paper you came across recently? Why?

I was stimulated by Levinson and Majid’s “Differential ineffability and the senses”. They ask whether smell and other sensory modalities like vision are differentially ineffable for structural or language/cultural relative reasons. It also offers interesting ideas as to how to account for cross-modal associations using dimensions of perceptual space. I don’t agree with all their ideas, but this paper certainly raises interesting questions.


What’s your preferred sensory modality? And why?

I’ve recently grown fascinated with the integration of vision and touch. It provides an interesting framework for our understanding of color perception, and its relation to surfaces and space.


How did you begin to be interested in perception?

By accident! Color turned out to be the best case to examine the interaction of language and perception.


Among your recent papers which is your favourite and why?

I like “Why do we name 7 colours in the rainbow?”. I think with this paper I was able to finally concisely and specifically articulate the discussion around color categorisation, as well as define the question that determined the next steps of my research – and it’s short!


Whose work had the biggest influence on your life?



Could you describe one mundane detail of your research day?

I do not, under any circumstance, look at my e-mail before 12:30.


What does open research mean to you?

I think it’s right, and necessary. We have to find ways to make this work.


Featured photo credit: www.wallpaperhi.com

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