OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Franco Gori
  • Vol. 31, Iss. 4 — Apr. 1, 2014
  • pp: A140–A147

Filling in, filling out, or filtering out: processes stabilizing color appearance near the center of gaze

Sean F. O’Neil and Michael A. Webster  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 31, Issue 4, pp. A140-A147 (2014)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (632 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Spectral sensitivity varies markedly across the center of gaze, in part because of the rapid decline in the density of macular pigment outside the fovea. Yet despite these retinal inhomogeneities, the color appearance of large uniform fields remains very uniform. We explored some of the processes contributing to these stable color percepts by measuring the effects of field size and eccentricity on saturated purples, whose spectra should show the largest biases with macular pigment screening. Small purple fields at 0° and 8° eccentricities differ in appearance but by much less than predicted by the macular screening or by compensation for the average effects of this screening at the two loci. This shows that the compensation is already nearly complete because of local adjustments that filter out the sensitivity variation and confirms that this filtering includes adjustments beyond average gain changes in the cones. In large fields, the appearance is dominated by the local peripheral color. This bias persists when the field edge is fixated or when abrupt edges are removed in Gaussian spots, suggesting that the spreading is not strongly dependent on luminance edges.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.1710) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color, measurement
(330.1720) Vision, color, and visual optics : Color vision
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics

ToC Category:
Color sensitivity and appearance

Original Manuscript: October 18, 2013
Revised Manuscript: December 15, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: December 17, 2013
Published: January 24, 2014

Virtual Issues
Vol. 9, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Sean F. O’Neil and Michael A. Webster, "Filling in, filling out, or filtering out: processes stabilizing color appearance near the center of gaze," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 31, A140-A147 (2014)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. D. M. Snodderly, J. D. Auran, and F. C. Delori, “The macular pigment. II. Spatial distribution in primate retinas,” Investig. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 25, 674–685 (1984).
  2. B. R. Wooten and B. R. Hammond, “Spectral absorbance and spatial distribution of macular pigment using heterochromatic flicker photometry,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 82, 378–386 (2005). [CrossRef]
  3. J. S. Werner and L. Spillmann, “UV-absorbing intraocular lenses: safety, efficacy, and consequences for the cataract patient,” Graefes Arch. Clin. Exp. Ophthalmol. 227, 248–256 (1989).
  4. R. A. Bone and J. M. Sparrock, “Comparison of macular pigment densities in human eyes,” Vis. Res. 11, 1057–1064 (1971). [CrossRef]
  5. S. Magnussen, L. Spillmann, F. Sturzel, and J. S. Werner, “Unveiling the foveal blue scotoma through an afterimage,” Vis. Res. 44, 377–383 (2004). [CrossRef]
  6. J. A. Spencer, “An investigation of Maxwell’s spot,” Brit. J. Physiol. Opt. 24, 103–147 (1967).
  7. M. B. Fairbairn, “Physical models of Haidinger’s brush,” J. R. Astron. Soc. Can. 95, 248–251 (2001).
  8. A. Stockman, D. I. MacLeod, and N. E. Johnson, “Spectral sensitivities of the human cones,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 10, 2491–2521 (1993). [CrossRef]
  9. D. Beer, J. Wortman, G. Horwitz, and D. MacLeod, “Compensation of white for macular filtering [Abstract],” J. Vis. 5(8), 282 (2005). [CrossRef]
  10. M. A. Webster and D. Leonard, “Adaptation and perceptual norms in color vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 2817–2825 (2008). [CrossRef]
  11. M. A. Webster, K. Halen, A. J. Meyers, P. Winkler, and J. S. Werner, “Colour appearance and compensation in the near periphery,” Proc. R. Soc. Lond. B 277, 1817–1825 (2010). [CrossRef]
  12. D. H. Foster, “Color constancy,” Vis. Res. 51, 674–700 (2011). [CrossRef]
  13. H. E. Smithson, “Sensory, computational and cognitive components of human colour constancy,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. B 360, 1329–1346 (2005). [CrossRef]
  14. A. Bompas, G. Powell, and P. Sumner, “Systematic biases in adult color perception persist despite lifelong information sufficient to calibrate them,” J. Vis. 13(1), 19 (2013). [CrossRef]
  15. H. Hibino, “Red–green and yellow–blue opponent-color responses as a function of retinal eccentricity,” Vis. Res. 32, 1955–1964 (1992). [CrossRef]
  16. J. M. Stringham and B. R. Hammond, “Compensation for light loss due to filtering by macular pigment: relation to hue cancellation,” Ophthalmic Physiol. Opt. 27, 232–237 (2007). [CrossRef]
  17. J. M. Stringham, B. R. Hammond, B. R. Wooten, and D. M. Snodderly, “Compensation for light loss resulting from filtering by macular pigment: relation to the S-cone pathway,” Optom. Vis. Sci. 83, 887–894 (2006).
  18. A. Valberg and T. Seim, “Chromatic induction: responses of neurophysiological double opponent units?” Biol. Cybern. 46, 149–158 (1983). [CrossRef]
  19. B. R. Conway and M. S. Livingstone, “Spatial and temporal properties of cone signals in alert macaque primary visual cortex,” J. Neurosci. 26, 10826–10846 (2006). [CrossRef]
  20. V. A. Billock, “The relationship between simple and double opponent cells,” Vis. Res. 31, 33–42 (1991). [CrossRef]
  21. N. W. Daw, “Color-coded cells in goldfish, cat, and Rhesus monkey,” Investig. Ophthalmol. 11, 411–417 (1972).
  22. R. Shapley and M. J. Hawken, “Color in the cortex: single- and double-opponent cells,” Vis. Res. 51, 701–717 (2011). [CrossRef]
  23. J. K. O’Regan and A. Noe, “A sensorimotor account of vision and visual consciousness,” Behav. Brain Sci. 24, 939–1031 (2001).
  24. S. F. O’Neil, K. C. McDermott, Y. Mizokami, J. S. Werner, M. A. Crognale, and M. A. Webster, “Tests of a functional account of the Abney effect,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 29, A165–A173 (2012). [CrossRef]
  25. S. A. Burns, A. E. Elsner, J. Pokorny, and V. C. Smith, “The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues,” Vis. Res. 24, 479–489 (1984). [CrossRef]
  26. W. Kurtenbach, C. E. Sternheim, and L. Spillmann, “Change in hue of spectral colors by dilution with white light (Abney effect),” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 1, 365–372 (1984). [CrossRef]
  27. Y. Mizokami, J. S. Werner, M. A. Crognale, and M. A. Webster, “Nonlinearities in color coding: compensating color appearance for the eye’s spectral sensitivity,” J. Vision 6(9):12, 999–107 (2006). [CrossRef]
  28. L. Spillmann, “Fading, filling-in, and the perception of uniform surfaces,” Chin. J. Psychol. 53, 399–411 (2011).
  29. M. A. Paradiso, S. Blau, X. Huang, S. P. MacEvoy, A. F. Rossi, and G. Shalev, “Lightness, filling-in, and the fundamental role of context in visual perception,” Prog. Brain Res. 155, 109–123 (2006). [CrossRef]
  30. L. Spillmann, T. Otte, K. Hamburger, and S. Magnussen, “Perceptual filling-in from the edge of the blind spot,” Vis. Res. 46, 4252–4257 (2006). [CrossRef]
  31. V. S. Ramachandran, “Filling in the blind spot,” Nature 356, 115 (1992). [CrossRef]
  32. R. L. De Valois, M. A. Webster, K. K. De Valois, and B. Lingelbach, “Temporal properties of brightness and color induction,” Vis. Res. 26, 887–897 (1986). [CrossRef]
  33. B. Blakeslee and M. E. McCourt, “Spatiotemporal analysis of brightness induction,” Vis. Res. 51, 1872–1879 (2011). [CrossRef]
  34. A. F. Rossi and M. A. Paradiso, “Temporal limits of brightness induction and mechanisms of brightness perception,” Vis. Res. 36, 1391–1398 (1996). [CrossRef]
  35. B. Pinna, J. S. Werner, and L. Spillmann, “The watercolor effect: a new principle of grouping and figure-ground organization,” Vis. Res. 43, 43–52 (2003). [CrossRef]
  36. V. A. Billock, G. A. Gleason, and B. H. Tsou, “Perception of forbidden colors in retinally stabilized equiluminant images: an indication of softwired cortical color opponency?” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 2398–2403 (2001). [CrossRef]
  37. K. Hamburger, H. Prior, V. Sarris, and L. Spillmann, “Filling-in with colour: different modes of surface completion,” Vis. Res. 46, 1129–1138 (2006). [CrossRef]
  38. T. Wachtler and C. Wehrhahn, “The Craik–O’Brien–Cornsweet illusion in colour: quantitative characterisation and comparison with luminance,” Perception 26, 1423–1430 (1997). [CrossRef]
  39. J. Broerse, T. Vladusich, and R. P. O’Shea, “Colour at edges and colour spreading in McCollough effects,” Vis. Res. 39, 1305–1320 (1999). [CrossRef]
  40. P. Bressan, E. Mingolla, L. Spillmann, and T. Watanabe, “Neon color spreading: a review,” Perception 26, 1353–1366 (1997). [CrossRef]
  41. F. Devinck, P. B. Delahunt, J. L. Hardy, L. Spillmann, and J. S. Werner, “The watercolor effect: quantitative evidence for luminance-dependent mechanisms of long-range color assimilation,” Vis. Res. 45, 1413–1424 (2005). [CrossRef]
  42. D. R. Williams, D. I. MacLeod, and M. M. Hayhoe, “Foveal tritanopia,” Vis. Res. 21, 1341–1356 (1981). [CrossRef]
  43. S. Magnussen, L. Spillmann, F. Sturzel, and J. S. Werner, “Filling-in of the foveal blue scotoma,” Vis. Res. 41, 2961–2967 (2001). [CrossRef]
  44. I. Abramov and J. Gordon, “Color appearance: on seeing red—or yellow, or green, or blue,” Annu. Rev. Psychol. 45, 451–485 (1994). [CrossRef]
  45. B. Balas and P. Sinha, “‘Filling-in’ colour in natural scenes,” Vis. Cogn. 15, 765–778 (2007). [CrossRef]
  46. D. I. MacLeod and R. M. Boynton, “Chromaticity diagram showing cone excitation by stimuli of equal luminance,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 69, 1183–1186 (1979). [CrossRef]
  47. M. A. Webster, E. Miyahara, G. Malkoc, and V. E. Raker, “Variations in normal color vision. II. unique hues,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 1545–1555 (2000). [CrossRef]
  48. G. Malkoc, P. Kay, and M. A. Webster, “Variations in normal color vision. IV. binary hues and hue scaling,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2154–2168 (2005). [CrossRef]
  49. V. C. Smith and J. Pokorny, “Spectral sensitivity of the foveal cone photopigments between 400 and 500  nm,” Vis. Res. 15, 161–171 (1975). [CrossRef]
  50. B. R. Wooten, B. R. Hammond, R. I. Land, and D. M. Snodderly, “A practical method for measuring macular pigment optical density,” Investig. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 40, 2481–2489 (1999).
  51. J. Krauskopf, “Heterochromatic stabilized images: a classroom demonstration,” Am. J. Psychol. 80, 634–637 (1967). [CrossRef]
  52. K. T. Mullen and F. A. Kingdom, “Losses in peripheral colour sensitivity predicted from ‘hit and miss’ post-receptoral cone connections,” Vis. Res. 36, 1995–2000 (1996). [CrossRef]
  53. K. T. Mullen and F. A. Kingdom, “Differential distributions of red–green and blue–yellow cone opponency across the visual field,” Vis. Neurosci. 19, 109–118 (2002). [CrossRef]
  54. D. J. McKeefry, I. J. Murray, and N. R. Parry, “Perceived shifts in saturation and hue of chromatic stimuli in the near peripheral retina,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 3168–3179 (2007). [CrossRef]
  55. I. J. Murray, N. R. Parry, and D. J. McKeefry, “Cone opponency in the near peripheral retina,” Vis. Neurosci. 23, 503–507 (2006).
  56. N. R. Parry, D. J. McKeefry, and I. J. Murray, “Variant and invariant color perception in the near peripheral retina,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 1586–1597 (2006). [CrossRef]
  57. J. L. Nerger, V. J. Volbrecht, and C. J. Ayde, “Unique hue judgments as a function of test size in the fovea and at 20-deg temporal eccentricity,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 12, 1225–1232 (1995). [CrossRef]
  58. J. D. Moreland, “Peripheral color vision,” in Handbook of Sensory Physiology, J. Jameson and L. M. Hurvich, eds. (Springer, 1972), pp. 517–536.
  59. I. Abramov, J. Gordon, and H. Chan, “Color appearance in the peripheral retina: effects of stimulus size,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 8, 404–414 (1991). [CrossRef]
  60. V. J. Volbrecht, E. E. Shrago, B. E. Schefrin, and J. S. Werner, “Spatial summation in human cone mechanisms from 0 degrees to 20 degrees in the superior retina,” J. Opt. Soc Am. A 17, 641–650 (2000).
  61. A. Bompas and J. K. O’Regan, “Evidence for a role of action in colour perception,” Perception 35, 65–78 (2006). [CrossRef]
  62. B. E. Schefrin and J. S. Werner, “Loci of spectral unique hues throughout the life span,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 7, 305–311 (1990). [CrossRef]
  63. R. van Lier, M. Vergeer, and S. Anstis, “Filling-in afterimage colors between the lines,” Curr. Biol. 19, R323–R324 (2009). [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