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J Opt Soc Am. 1979 Mar;69(3):422-34.

Opponent chromatic mechanisms: relation to photopigments and hue naming.


Opponent chromatic response functions were determined from monochromatic, equal-luminance stimuli from 400 to 700 nm for three observers using a hue cancellation procedure. The same observers scaled the hue of the stimuli using the terms red, green, yellow, and blue. The results showed that the hue scaling was accurately predicted from the cancellation functions using the model of Hurvich and Jameson. Theoretical curves were generated to fit the chromatic response functions with a linear combination of three cone photopigments. The theoretical photopigments were based on an idopsin nomogram with lambdamax at a = 435, beta = 530, and lambda = 562 nm. An estimate of the density of each observer's preretinal optic media was obtained in order to relate the photopigment absorption spectra to the psychophysical data. Good linear fits were obtained for each observer's red-green curve, but not for the yellow-blue curves. A nonlinear model with an expansive exponent was used to fit the yellow-blue response functions with the three theoretical photopigments.

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