OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 16, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 1999
  • pp: 804–811

Surround articulation. II. Lightness judgments

James A. Schirillo  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 16, Issue 4, pp. 804-811 (1999)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (267 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



It has been hypothesized that to achieve color constancy, lightness judgments require an estimate of the illuminant. A companion paper [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 793 (1999)] suggests that surround articulation enhances the likelihood that a global luminance edge will be interpreted as being due to changes in illumination rather than in reflectance. Articulation is the process of adding equally spaced incremental and decremental patches within a surround while preserving the surround’s space-average luminance. Such a process results in lightness judgments that correlate perfectly with equal local ratio matches. For decrements, lightness constancy does not require articulation. These findings help explain why ArendGoldstein [J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 2281 (1987)] obtained color constancy with complex Mondrian surrounds but not with simple center surrounds.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.0330) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision, color, and visual optics
(330.1690) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision

Original Manuscript: October 19, 1998
Revised Manuscript: November 25, 1998
Manuscript Accepted: October 28, 1998
Published: April 1, 1999

James A. Schirillo, "Surround articulation. II. Lightness judgments," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 804-811 (1999)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. J. A. Schirillo, “Surround articulation. II. Brightness judgments,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 793–803 (1999). [CrossRef]
  2. L. E. Arend, R. Goldstein, “Simultaneous constancy, lightness, and brightness,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 2281–2285 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. L. E. Arend, B. Spehar, “Lightness, brightness, and brightness contrast: 1. Illuminance variation,” Percept. Psychophys. 54, 446–456 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. L. E. Arend, B. Spehar, “Lightness, brightness, and brightness contrast: 2. Reflectance variation,” Percept. Psychophys. 54, 457–468 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. A. L. Gilchrist, “Lightness contrast and failures of constancy: a common explanation,” Percept. Psychophys. 43, 415–424 (1988). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  6. Since early Gestalt works involving articulation have not been elaborated upon, those authors’ specific statements are reproduced in Refs. 7–11.
  7. W. Burzlaff, “Methodologische beitrage zum Problem der Farbenkonstanz,” Z. Psychol. 119, 117–235 (1931). “Katz has often emphasized that for the highest possible degree of color constancy it is very important that the field of view appear filled with numerous objects readily distinguishable from each other. To the extent that this condition is satisfied, the mind is reassured of dealing with objects to which fast colors can be attributed. The more homogeneously the visual field is filled, the more the phenomena of colour-constancy recede…” (p. 235; English translation provided by A. Gilchrist).
  8. A. Gelb, “Die Farbenkonstanz der Sehdinge,” (1929) in A Source Book of Gestalt Psychology, translated by W. D. Ellis (The Humanities Press, New York, 1938): “…colour constancy was manifested only when an adequate and uninterrupted survey of the existing illumination was permitted. Anything hindering such a survey (e.g., the reduction screen, minimal observation time, etc.) either destroyed or reduced the phenomenon. One of the most important conditions is that the visual angle be large and the field richly articulated” (p. 201).
  9. R. H. Henneman, “A photometric study of the perception of object color,” Arch. Psychol. 179, 5–89 (1935): “ ‘Articulation of the visual field’ has become recognized as an essential condition for the appearance of ‘constancy’ phenomena, though this rather vague term is badly in need of clearer definition and explanation” (p. 23); “Apparently the more complicated the constitution of the field of observation in the sense of presenting a number of surfaces of different reflectivity, regions of different illumination, and objects set in different planes (tri-dimensionality), the more in accord with its actual albedo-color will a test object be perceived” (p. 53).
  10. G. Katona, “Color contrast and color constancy,” J. Exp. Psychol. 18, 49–63 (1935). “I have found that constancy effects are mainly furthered by enrichment of the perception through better organization, more contours, more form and object-characters, movement, etc.” (p. 61). [CrossRef]
  11. R. B. MacLeod, “An experimental investigation of brightness constancy,” Arch. Psychol. 135, 5–102 (1932). “When, for instance a section of one’s surroundings is seen as shadowed it is of consequence whether or not the shadow occupies a large visual angle and whether the shadowed sector includes a variety of objects” (p. 32).
  12. L. E. Marks, “Intermodal similarity and cross-modality matching: coding perceptual dimensions,” in Geometric Representations of Perceptual Phenomenon, R. D. Luce, M. D’Zmura, D. Hoffman, G. J. Iverson, A. K. Romney, eds. (Erlbaum, Mahwah, N.J., 1995), pp. 207–233.
  13. A. L. Gilchrist, S. Delman, A. Jacobsen, “The classification and integration of edges as critical to the perception of reflectance and illumination,” Percept. Psychophys. 33, 425–436 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. J. A. Schirillo, S. K. Shevell, “An account of brightness in complex scenes based on inferred illumination,” Perception 26, 507–518 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. J. Cataliotti, A. Gilchrist, “Local and global processes in surface lightness perception,” Percept. Psychophys. 57, 125–135 (1995). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. R. Evans, J. Klute, “Brightness constancy in photographic reproduction,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 34, 540–553 (1944). [CrossRef]
  17. H. Helson, “Some factors and implications of color constancy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 33, 555–567 (1943). [CrossRef]
  18. L. Jones, H. Condit, “The brightness scale of exterior scenes and the computation of correct photographic exposure,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 31, 651–678 (1941). [CrossRef]
  19. R. Shapley, R. Reid, “Contrast and assimilation in the perception of brightness,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 82, 5983–5986 (1985). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. E. H. Adelson, “Perceptual organization and the judgment of brightness,” Science 262, 2042–2944 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited