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Vision Res. 1992 Nov;32(11):2165-75.

Color discrimination and adaptation.

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Center for Neural Science, New York University, NY 10003.


We have measured color discrimination in the isoluminant plane under rigorously controlled adaptation conditions. Two regimes were studied. Under the first regime the observer was adapted to the region of color space in which the discriminations were made. Thresholds for detecting changes along the S-(L + M) axis are a linearly increasing function of the excitation of the S cones. Thresholds for detecting changes along the L-M axis are independent of the locus of adaptation along this axis. The straightness of these functions is inconsistent with the theory that second stage mechanisms are more sensitive in the middle of their operating ranges. No convincing evidence of interactions in the effects of adaptation locus or test stimuli was observed. Under the second regime the observer was adapted to one point in color space and the stimuli to be discriminated were located in other places in color space. Discrimination seems to be limited primarily by mechanisms maximally sensitive to modulation along the isoluminant cardinal axes but evidence suggestive of the operation of higher order mechanisms was also found.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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