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Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 66, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1976
  • pp: 1430–1435

Differences between red and green color-mechanism characteristics: Interaction or artifact?

D. H. Kelly  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 66, Issue 12, pp. 1430-1435 (1976)

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Sine-wave threshold characteristics of human color mechanisms inferred by superimposing red and green stimuli in opposite phases have roughly the same curve shapes as those measured under intense chromatic adaptation, but the latter technique yields considerably greater overall sensitivity for the green mechanism. The adaptive-artifact explanation for this discrepancy offered by Cavonius and Estévez is shown to be untenable.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

D. H. Kelly, "Differences between red and green color-mechanism characteristics: Interaction or artifact?," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 1430-1435 (1976)

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  1. D. H. Kelly, "Spatio-temporal frequency characteristics of color-vision mechanisms," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 983–990 (1974).
  2. D. H. Kelly, "Lateral inhibition in human colour mechanisms, J. Physiol. (London) 228, 55–72 (1973).
  3. For definitions and achromatic measurements of the sine-wave threshold surface, see D. H. Kelly, "Adaptation effects on spatio-temporal sine-wave thresholds," Vision Res. 12, 89–101 (1972), and "Frequency doubling in visual responses," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 56, 1628–1633 (1966).
  4. G. Wald, "The receptors of human color vision," Science 145, 1007–1016 (1964).
  5. 5D. G. Green, "The contrast sensitivity of the colour mechanisms of the human eye," J. Physiol. (London) 196, 415–429 (1968).
  6. D. G. Green, "Sinusoidal flicker characteristics of the colorsensitive mechanisms of the eye," Vision Res. 9, 591–601 (1969).
  7. O. Estévez and H. Spekreijse, "A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour mechanisms," Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
  8. C. R. Cavonius and O. Estévez, "Sensitivity of human color mechanisms to gratings and flicker," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 966–968 (1975). See also O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, "Flicker sensitivities of the human red and green color mechanisms, " Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
  9. C. R. Cavonius and O. Estévez, "Contrast sensitivity of individual colour mechanisms of human vision," J. Physiol. (London) 248, 649–662 (1975),
  10. O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, "Modulation sensitivity of human colour mechanisms," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 66, 1436–1438 (1976) (this issue).
  11. J. M. Enoch, "The two-color threshold technique of Stiles and derived component color mechanisms," Chap. 21 in Visual Psychophysics, Vol. VII/4, Handbook of Sensory Physiology, edited by D. Jameson and L. M. Hurvich (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1972), The quotation (p. 561) is from Enoch's summary of the conclusions of R. M. Boynton, "Contributions of threshold measurements to color-discrimination theory, " J. Opt. Soc. Am. 53, 165–178 (1963).
  12. G. J. C. van der Horst, "Chromatic flicker," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 59, 1213–1217 (1969).
  13. The term "supersensitivity" does not seem appropriate for these results, because Kelly's lowest modulation thresholds (about 0.16%) are close to the lowest thresholds obtained in other chromatic and achromatic experiments.For example, with binocular viewing of red/green flicker, Cavonius and Estévez report a threshold of 0.17% modulation at 2 Hz.Achromatic contrast thresholds as low as 0.14% modulation have been measured directly, with a 60° stimulus field (see Refs.8 and 24).
  14. H. deLange, "Research into the dynamic nature of the human fovea-cortex systems with intermittent and modulated light," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 48, 777–789 (1958).
  15. D. H. Kelly, "Visual signal generator," Rev, Sci. Instrum. 32, 50–55 (1961) (see Fig. 6).
  16. P. L. Walraven and H. J. Leebeek, "Phase shift of sinusoidally alternating colored stimulii," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 78–82 (1964),
  17. D. H. Kelly, "Pattern detection and the two-dimensional Fourier transform: Flickering checkerboards and chromatic mechanisms," Vision Res. 16, 277–287 (1976).
  18. Similarly, Estevez and Spekreijee did not obtain low-frequency attenuation when they used deep red light to stimulate the red mechanism alone (see Fig. 6 of Ref. 7).
  19. Hence the two-color results generally differ from the spectral sensitivities of receptors inferred by other methods; e.g., J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, "On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries," Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971). (see also Ref. 11).
  20. The derivation of Eq. (1) is given in Refs. 1 and 2 (and in a somewhat different form, in Ref. 5).
  21. Kelly's red and green sensitivity curves did not change shape at any level above 250 td (see Ref. 2).
  22. W. S. Stiles, "Adaptation, chromatic adaptation, colour transformation," An, Real Soc. Esp. Fisica Quimica A 57, 149–157 (1961) (see p. 7).
  23. D. H. Kelly, "Effects of the cone-cell distribution on patterndetection experiments," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 1523–1525 (1974).
  24. R. W. Cohen, C. R. Carlson and G. S. Cody, "Image descriptors for displays," ONR Technical Report No. CR212-120-2, RCA Laboratories, Princeton, N. J. (May, 1976) (see Figs. 33 and 34).

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