In color theory and perceptual practice, two color naming combinations are forbidden—reddish greens and bluish yellows—however, when multicolored images are stabilized on the retina, their borders fade and filling-in mechanisms can create forbidden colors. The sole report of such events found that only some observers saw forbidden colors, while others saw illusory multicolored patterns. We found that when colors were equiluminant, subjects saw reddish greens, bluish yellows, or a multistable spatial color exchange (an entirely novel perceptual phenomena); when the colors were nonequiluminant, subjects saw spurious pattern formation. To make sense of color opponency violations, we created a soft-wired model of cortical color opponency (based on winner-take-all competition) whose opponency can be disabled.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 28, 2000
Revised Manuscript: April 13, 2001
Manuscript Accepted: April 13, 2001
Published: October 1, 2001
Vincent A. Billock, Gerald A. Gleason, and Brian H. Tsou, "Perception of forbidden colors in retinally stabilized equiluminant images: an indication of softwired cortical color opponency?," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 2398-2403 (2001)