OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 25, Iss. 11 — Nov. 1, 2008
  • pp: 2618–2629

Characteristics of grouping colors for figure segregation on a multicolored background

Takehiro Nagai and Keiji Uchikawa  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 25, Issue 11, pp. 2618-2629 (2008)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1400 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A figure is segregated from its background when the colored elements belonging to the figure are grouped together. We investigated the range of color distribution conditions in which a figure could be segregated from its background using the color distribution differences. The stimulus was a multicolored texture composed of randomly shaped pieces. It was divided into two regions: a test region and a background region. The pieces in these two regions had different color distributions in the OSA Uniform Color Space. In our experiments, the subject segregated the figure of the test region using two different procedures. Since the Euclidean distance in the OSA Uniform Color Space corresponds to perceived color difference, if segregation thresholds are determined by only color difference, the thresholds should be independent of position and direction in the color space. In the results, however, the thresholds did depend on position and direction in the OSA Uniform Color Space. This suggests that color difference is not the only factor in figure segregation by color. Moreover, the threshold dependence on position and direction is influenced by the distances in the cone-opponent space whose axes are normalized by discrimination thresholds, suggesting that figure segregation threshold is determined by similar factors in the cone-opponent space for color discrimination. The analysis of the results by categorical color naming suggests that categorical color perception may affect figure segregation only slightly.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.0330) Vision, color, and visual optics : Vision, color, and visual optics
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics
(330.6100) Vision, color, and visual optics : Spatial discrimination

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: March 13, 2008
Revised Manuscript: August 13, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: August 21, 2008
Published: October 6, 2008

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 1 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Takehiro Nagai and Keiji Uchikawa, "Characteristics of grouping colors for figure segregation on a multicolored background," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 2618-2629 (2008)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. R. M. Boynton, A. L. Nagy, and C. X. Olson, “A flaw in equations for predicting chromatic differences,” Color Res. Appl. 8, 69-74 (1983). [CrossRef]
  2. J. Krauskoph, D. R. Williams, and D. W. Heeley, “Cardinal directions of color space,” Vision Res. 22, 1123-1131 (1982). [CrossRef]
  3. K. R. Gegenfurtner and D. C. Kiper, “Contrast detection in luminance and chromatic noise,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 9, 1880-1888 (1992). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. A. Li and P. Lennie, “Mechanisms underlying segmentation of colored texture,” Vision Res. 37, 83-97 (1997). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. A. Li and P. Lennie, “Importance of color in the segmentation of variegated surface,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 1240-1251 (2001). [CrossRef]
  6. M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Changes in colour appearance following post-receptoral adaptation,” Nature 349, 235-238 (1991). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “The influence of contrast adaptation on color appearance,” Vision Res. 34, 1993-2020 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. M. Livingstone and D. Hubel, “Psychophysical evidence for separate channels for the perception of form, color, movement, and depth,” J. Neurosci. 7, 3416-3468 (1987). [PubMed]
  9. D. H. Kelly, “Spatiotemporal variation of chromatic and achromatic contrast thresholds,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 742-750 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. J. D. Mollon, “'Tho' she kneel'd in that place where the grew...,' The uses and origins of primate colour vision,” J. Exp. Biol. 146, 21-38 (1989). [PubMed]
  11. K. T. Mullen and W. H. A. Beaudot, “Comparison of color and luminance vision on a global shape discrimination task,” Vision Res. 42, 565-575 (2002). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. D. Nickerson, “OSA Uniform Color Space samples: a unique set,” Color Res. Appl. 6, 7-33 (1981). [CrossRef]
  13. M. J. Sankeralli and K. T. Mullen, “Ratio model for suprathreshold hue-increment detection,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 16, 2625-2637 (1999). [CrossRef]
  14. J. Krauskoph and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Color discrimination and adaptation,” Vision Res. 32, 2165-2175 (1992). [CrossRef]
  15. D. I. A. MacLeod and R. M. Boynton, “Chromaticity diagram showing cone excitation by stimuli of equal luminance,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1183-1186 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. A. M. Derrington, J. Krauskopf, and P. Lennie, “Chromatic mechanisms in lateral geniculate nucleus of macaque,” J. Physiol. (London) 357, 241-265 (1984).
  17. V. C. Smith and J. Pokorny, “Spectral sensitivity of the foveal cone photopigments between 400 and 500 nm,” Vision Res. 15, 161-171 (1975). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. K. Yokoi and K. Uchikawa, “Color category influences heterogeneous visual search for color,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2309-2317 (2005). [CrossRef]
  19. R. M. Boynton and C. X. Olson, “Locating basic colors in the OSA space,” Color Res. Appl. 12, 94-105 (1987). [CrossRef]
  20. K. Uchikawa and R. M. Boynton, “Categorical color perception of Japanese observers: comparison with that of Americans,” Vision Res. 27, 1825-1833 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. K. Uchikawa, I. Kuriki, and H. Shinoda, “Expression of color appearance in aperture and surface color modes with a category rating estimation method (in Japanese),” J. Illum. Eng. Ins. Jpn. 78, 83-93 (1994).
  22. B. Berlin and P. Kay, Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution (University of California Press, Berkeley, 1969).
  23. T. Indow, “A test of uniformities in the OSA-UCS and the NCS,” Color Res. Appl. 28, 277-283 (2003). [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.

Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited