OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 13, Iss. 8 — Aug. 1, 1996
  • pp: 1622–1636

Limitations of surface-color and apparent-color constancy

Ichiro Kuriki and Keiji Uchikawa  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 13, Issue 8, pp. 1622-1636 (1996)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (385 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Color-constancy mechanisms have been studied and discussed in a number of investigations. However, there has been little attempt to reveal how color constancy deteriorates as the conditions for it become less than optimal. We carried out a series of asymmetric color-matching experiments, using two criteria: surface-color match and apparent-color match. With brief adaptation the degree of color constancy increased as chromatic cues were added in the surround. In the condition of black surround, the test stimuli appeared self-luminous, and chromaticities of the chosen matching stimuli were the same as the physical chromaticities of the test stimulus, indicating a total deficiency of color constancy. With 15 min of preadaptation to the illuminant, the surface-color matches showed almost perfect color constancy under illuminant change. In both adaptation conditions, the chromatic-shift of matches from what would be expected for perfect color constancy increased gradually between 1,700- and 30,000-K illuminant, as chromaticity of the illuminant departed from 6,500-K illuminant. Under 1,000-K illuminant the surface-color appearance became totally achromatic, and color constancy was completely lost. Our results show that, even with brief adaptation to the illuminant, the contribution of the surrounding stimulus is large enough to achieve a fair degree of color constancy, but complete adaptation to the illuminant helps to achieve almost perfect color constancy.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 12, 1995
Revised Manuscript: March 14, 1996
Manuscript Accepted: February 12, 1996
Published: August 1, 1996

Ichiro Kuriki and Keiji Uchikawa, "Limitations of surface-color and apparent-color constancy," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 13, 1622-1636 (1996)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. H. von Helmholtz, Treatise on Physiological Optics, 2nd ed. (Dover, New York, 1866, 1962).
  2. R. M. Boynton, K. F. Purl, “Categorical colour perception under low-pressure sodium lighting with small amounts of added incandescent illumination,” Lighting Res. Technol. 21, 23–27 (1989). [CrossRef]
  3. J. A. Worthey, “Limitations of color constancy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1014–1026 (1985). [CrossRef]
  4. H. Helson, V. B. Jeffers, “Fundamental problems in color vision. II. Hue lightness and saturation of selective samples in chromatic illumination,”J. Exp. Psychol. 26, 1–27 (1940). [CrossRef]
  5. L. E. Arend, “How much does illuminant color affect unattributed colors?” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 10, 2134–2147 (1993). [CrossRef]
  6. L. E. Arend, A. Reeves, “Simultaneous color constancy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 1743–1751 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. E. Hering, Outline of a Theory of the Light Sense (Harvard U. Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1920; English translation by L. Hurvich, D. Jameson, 1964).
  8. M. D. Fairchild, P. Lennie, “Chromatic adaptation to natural and incandescent illuminants,” Vision Res. 32, 2077–2085 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. I. Kuriki, D. I. A. MacLeod, “Chromatic adaptation aftereffects on luminance and chromatic channels,” in John Dalton’s Colour Vision Legacy, C. M. Dickinson, I. J. Murray, D. Carden, eds. (Taylor & Francis, London, to be published).
  10. M. D. Fairchild, L. Feniff, “Time course of chromatic adaptation for color-appearance judgments,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 824–833 (1995). [CrossRef]
  11. S. Hecht, C. Haig, A. M. Chase, “The influence of light adaptation on subsequent dark adaptation of the eye,”J. Gen. Physiol. 20, 831–850 (1937). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. B. J. Craven, D. H. Foster, “An operational approach to color constancy,” Vision Res. 32, 1359–1366 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. H. Uchikawa, K. Uchikawa, R. M. Boynton, “Influence of achromatic surrounds on categorical perception of surface colors,” Vision Res. 29, 881–890 (1989). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  14. A. Valberg, B. Lange-Malecki, “‘Color constancy’ in Mondrian patterns: a partial cancellation of physical chormaticity shifts by simultaneous contrast,” Vision Res. 30, 371–380 (1990). [CrossRef]
  15. J. Walraven, T. L. Benzshawel, B. E. Rogowitz, M. P. Lucassen, “Testing the contrast explanation of color constancy,” in From Pigments to Perception, A. Valberg, B. B. Lee, eds. (Plenum, New York, 1991), pp. 369–377. [CrossRef]
  16. D. L. MacAdam, “Uniform color scales,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 1691–1702 (1974). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. W. B. Cowan, “An inexpensive scheme for calibration of a colour monitor in terms of CIE standard coordinates,” Comput. Graph. 17, 315–321 (1983). [CrossRef]
  18. L. E. Arend, A. Reeves, J. Schirillo, R. Goldstein, “Simultaneous color constancy: paper with diverse Munsell values,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 8, 661–672 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. E. Brunswik, “Zur Entwicklung der Albedowahrnehmung,”Z. Psychol. 109 (1929).
  20. J. A. Worthey, M. H. Brill, “Heuristic analysis of von Kries color constancy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 1708–1712 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. D. Brainard, B. Wandell, “Asymmetric color matching: how color appearance depends on the illuminant,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1433–1448 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. V. C. Smith, J. Pokorny, “Spectral sensitivity of the foveal one photopigments between 400 and 500 nm,” Vision Res. 15, 161–171 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  23. E. H. Land, J. J. McCann, “Lightness and retinex theory,”J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 1–11 (1971). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. J. J. McCann, S. P. McKee, T. H. Taylor, “Quantitative studies in retinex theory: a comparison between theoretical predictions and observer responses to the ‘color Mondrian’ experiments,” Vision Res. 16, 445–458 (1976). [CrossRef]

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