Most empirical work on color constancy is based on simple laboratory models of natural viewing conditions. These typically consist of spots seen against uniform backgrounds or computer simulations of flat surfaces seen under spatially uniform illumination. In this study measurements were made under more natural viewing conditions. Observers used a projection colorimeter to adjust the appearance of a test patch until it appeared achromatic. Observers made such achromatic settings under a variety of illuminants and when the test surface was viewed against a number of different backgrounds. An analysis of the achromatic settings reveals that observers show good color constancy when the illumination is varied. Changing the background surface against which the test patch is seen, on the other hand, has a relatively small effect on the achromatic loci. The results thus indicate that constancy is not achieved by a simple comparison between the test surface and its local surround.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: April 28, 1997
Revised Manuscript: August 28, 1997
Manuscript Accepted: September 5, 1997
Published: February 1, 1998
David H. Brainard, "Color constancy in the nearly natural image. 2. Achromatic loci," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 307-325 (1998)