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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2003 May 13;100(10):6281-6. Epub 2003 May 5.

A quantitative model for transforming reflectance spectra into the Munsell color space using cone sensitivity functions and opponent process weights.

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  • 1Department of Anthropology, University of California at San Diego, La Jolla 92093, USA.


This article presents a computational model of the process through which the human visual system transforms reflectance spectra into perceptions of color. Using physical reflectance spectra data and standard human cone sensitivity functions we describe the transformations necessary for predicting the location of colors in the Munsell color space. These transformations include quantitative estimates of the opponent process weights needed to transform cone activations into Munsell color space coordinates. Using these opponent process weights, the Munsell position of specific colors can be predicted from their physical spectra with a mean correlation of 0.989.

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