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Vision Res. 1991;31(2):237-46.

The contribution of chromatic and achromatic valence to spectral saturation.

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Department of Psychology, University of New Hampshire, Durham 03824.


The spectral efficiency of the achromatic and opponent chromatic channels was measured in three subjects by use of heterochromatic flicker photometry and hue cancellation, respectively. Heterochromatic brightness matching was also used for measuring achromatic spectral efficiency. These data were then used to predict spectral saturation based on Hurvich and Jameson's (1957; Psychological Review, 64, 384-404) opponent colors model. A standard color-naming procedure and a saturation matching technique were used for measures of spectral saturation. The ratio of saturation of short-wave to long-wave lights was found to be less than that predicted by the linear valence model. Allowing for nonlinearity at the opponent site of the yellow-blue channel plus a desaturating signal from the rods provided a good fit between data and theory.

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