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J Vis. 2016;16(3):23. doi: 10.1167/16.3.23.

Detection of between-eye differences in color: Interactions with luminance.


Between-eye differences in color or luminance result in the appearance of luster, which provides a cue for detecting between-eye differences. We measured thresholds for detecting between-eye differences in both hue and chromatic contrast (saturation) in dichoptically superimposed color patches. Sensitivity was found to be highest at isoluminance and decreased with the addition of task-irrelevant, spatially coextensive, binocular (i.e., same in both eyes) luminance contrast. However, when the members of each dichoptic pair were presented side by side on the screen and viewed with the same eye, the added luminance contrast had no effect on the detection of their differences. If the effect of the luminance contrast was simply to dilute or desaturate the chromatic signals, we would expect thresholds to increase for the within-eye and not just the between-eye (dichoptic) conditions. We suggest that the presence of binocular luminance contrast reduces the interocular suppression between the dichoptic colors, causing the dichoptic color pairs to blend, thus rendering their differences harder to detect.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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