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Biol Cybern. 1993;69(5-6):415-28.

Adaptive orthogonalization of opponent-color signals.

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Department of Psychology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027.


This paper concerns the processing of the outputs of the two opponent-color mechanisms in the human visual system. We present experimental evidence that opponent-color signals interact after joint modulation even though they are essentially independent under neutral steady adaptation and after exclusive modulation of each mechanism. In addition, prolonged modulation linearizes the response function of each mechanism. The changes in interaction serve to orthogonalize opponent signals with respect to the adapting modulation, and the changes in response functions serve to equalize the relative frequencies of different levels of response to the adapting modulation. Adaptive orthogonalization reduces sensitivity to the adapting color direction, improves sensitivity to the orthogonal direction, and predicts shifts in color appearance. Response equalization enhances effective contrast and explains the difference between the effects of adaptation to uniform versus temporally or spatially modulated stimuli.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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