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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 2, Iss. 10 — Oct. 1, 1985
  • pp: 1794–1796

Remarks on signal-processing explanations of the trichromacy of vision

Michael H. Brill and Terry Benzschawel  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 2, Issue 10, pp. 1794-1796 (1985)

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We present criticism of signal-processing arguments recently used to explain the trichromacy of color vision. In particular, we note that illuminant spectral power distributions (SPD’s) can be metameric even when the signal-processing arguments state that trichromatic vision represents such SPD’s without ambiguity. Being statistical in nature, these arguments need not apply to each individual SPD; however, further use of the arguments calls for attributing them to some ensemble of SPD’s and then testing whether the ensemble satisfies the underlying statistical assumptions.

© 1985 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: November 13, 1984
Manuscript Accepted: May 21, 1985
Published: October 1, 1985

Michael H. Brill and Terry Benzschawel, "Remarks on signal-processing explanations of the trichromacy of vision," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 2, 1794-1796 (1985)

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  1. H. B. Barlow, “What causes trichromacy? A theoretical analysis using comb-filtered spectra,” Vision Res. 22, 635–644 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  8. Over appropriate ϕ domains, sinusoidal SPD’s with low values of f are nonnegative over x ∈[a, b] for values of m that violate the constraint m≤ 1. For example, sometimes m≥ 0 is sufficient to ensure that S(x) ≥ 0 over [a, b].
  9. H. Wolter, “Physikalische Begriindung eines Farbenkreises und Anzätze einer physikalischen Farbenlehre,” Ann. Phys. (Leipzig) Ser. 6 8, 11–29 (1950). [CrossRef]
  10. M. H. Brill, T. Benzsehawel, “Spectral phase modulation transfer function as a test for models of color vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 72, 1741 (A) (1982). Note that on line 5, “where” should be changed to “else.”

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