Saturation discrimination is assumed to be dependent on the ratio of chromatic to achromatic components in the sensory response to a given wavelength. The usual methods of measurement do not, however, permit independent control of the chromatic and achromatic variables. On the basis of an opponent-colors theory of vision, a method is described for measuring directly and separately the spectral distributions of the chromatic components. A series of experiments is reported in which this method was used to obtain measures of the paired chromatic responses associated with the four primary spectral hues. Results are reported for two observers, 1° foveal test field, for an equal brightness spectrum (10 mL), and a neutral state of adaptation (10 mL). The measured chromatic responses, together with achromatic (luminosity) functions measured earlier for the same observers, are used to predict the form of the spectral saturation discrimination function.
DOROTHEA JAMESON and LEO M. HURVICH, "Some Quantitative Aspects of an Opponent-Colors Theory. I. Chromatic Responses and Spectral Saturation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 45, 546-552 (1955)