When an observer’s ability to discriminate colored objects is estimated from the variability in color matches, the observer inspects adjacent visual fields carefully and makes considered judgments. Color discrimination does not always take place under such viewing conditions. When color video displays are used in time-critical applications (e.g., head-up displays, video control panels), the observer must discriminate among briefly presented targets seen within a complex spatial scene. We compare color-discrimination thresholds by using two tasks. In one task the observer makes color matches between two halves of a continuously displayed bipartite field. In a second task the observer detects a color target in a set of briefly presented objects. The data from both tasks are well summarized by ellipsoidal isosensitivity contours. The fitted ellipsoids differ both in their size, which indicates an absolute sensitivity difference, and orientation, which indicates a relative sensitivity difference.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 8, 1988
Manuscript Accepted: December 11, 1989
Published: April 1, 1990
Allen B. Poirson and Brian A. Wandell, "Task-dependent color discrimination," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 7, 776-782 (1990)