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J Opt Soc Am A Opt Image Sci Vis. 2018 Apr 1;35(4):B223-B230. doi: 10.1364/JOSAA.35.00B223.

Chromatic induction in space and time.


The color appearance of a light depends on variation in the complete visual field over both space and time. In the spatial domain, a chromatic stimulus within a patterned chromatic surround can appear a different hue than the same stimulus within a uniform surround. In the temporal domain, a stimulus presented as an element of a continuously changing chromaticity can appear a different color compared to the identical stimulus, presented simultaneously but viewed alone. This is the flash-lag effect for color, which has an analog in the domain of motion: a pulsed object seen alone can appear to lag behind an identical pulsed object that is an element of a motion sequence. Studies of the flash-lag effect for motion have considered whether it is mediated by a neural representation for the moving physical stimulus or, alternatively, for the perceived motion. The current study addresses this question for the flash-lag effect for color by testing whether the color flash lag depends on a representation of only the changing chromatic stimulus or, alternatively, its color percept, which can be altered by chromatic induction.


baseline measurements for spatial chromatic induction determined the chromaticity of a flashed ring within a uniform surround that matched a flashed ring within a patterned surround. Baseline measurements for the color flash-lag effect determined the chromaticity of a pulsed ring presented alone (within a uniform surround) that matched a pulsed ring presented in a sequence of changing chromaticity over time (also within a uniform surround). Finally, the main experiments combined chromatic induction from a patterned surround and the flash-lag effect, in three conditions: (1) both the changing and pulsed rings were within a patterned chromatic surround; (2) the changing ring was within a patterned surround and the pulsed ring within a uniform surround; and (3) the changing ring was within a uniform surround and the pulsed ring within a patterned surround.


the flash-lag measurements for a changing chromaticity were affected by perceptual changes induced by the surrounding chromatic pattern. Thus, the color shifts induced by a chromatic surround are incorporated in the neural representation mediating the flash-lag effect for color.

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