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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 29, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2012
  • pp: A157–A164

Cardinal axes are not independent in color discrimination

Marina V. Danilova and John D. Mollon  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 29, Issue 2, pp. A157-A164 (2012)

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We measured chromatic discrimination under conditions where the target fields could be distinguished only by the ratio of excitation of the long- (L) and middle-wavelength (M) cones. The excitation level of the short-wavelength (S) cones was varied in the experiments, although for any given measurement the S-cone excitation was common to the two target fields and could not be directly used for discrimination. Adaptation was maintained by a steady neutral background metameric to Illuminant D65. Thresholds varied substantially and systematically with the S-cone level of the target probes, but in a complex way: when the ratio of LM cone excitation was low, an increase in S-cone excitation reduced the thresholds, but when the LM ratio was higher, an increase in S-cone excitation raised the thresholds. To account for the pattern of results, we postulate a neural channel that draws synergistic inputs from L and S cones and an opposed input from M cones. The proposed channel has a compressive response function and is most sensitive at the point set by the steady background.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

ToC Category:
Chromatic discrimination

Original Manuscript: September 1, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: October 18, 2011
Published: January 25, 2012

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Vol. 7, Iss. 4 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Marina V. Danilova and John D. Mollon, "Cardinal axes are not independent in color discrimination," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, A157-A164 (2012)

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