OSA's Digital Library

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics


  • Editor: Gregory W. Faris
  • Vol. 4, Iss. 6 — May. 26, 2009

Contrast, constancy, and measurements of perceived lightness under parametric manipulation of surface slant and surface reflectance

Sarah R. Allred and David H. Brainard  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 26, Issue 4, pp. 949-961 (2009)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (1429 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Across many scenes, local contrast provides a valid cue to surface reflectance, but it is not the only such cue. To generalize beyond theories of lightness that rely exclusively on local contrast, we need to know which other potential cues matter. We had observers make lightness matches between two scene locations, and varied the surface slant and local surround reflectance of one of the locations. When local contrast was a valid cue to reflectance, all observers were approximately lightness constant. When it was not, observers’ lightness matches were intermediate between contrast matching and lightness constancy. For most observers, surface slant exerted an effect on perceived lightness beyond that explainable by local contrast.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(330.5020) Vision, color, and visual optics : Perception psychology
(330.5510) Vision, color, and visual optics : Psychophysics

ToC Category:
Vision, Color, and Visual Optics

Original Manuscript: September 30, 2008
Revised Manuscript: January 16, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: January 25, 2009
Published: March 24, 2009

Virtual Issues
Vol. 4, Iss. 6 Virtual Journal for Biomedical Optics

Sarah R. Allred and David H. Brainard, "Contrast, constancy, and measurements of perceived lightness under parametric manipulation of surface slant and surface reflectance," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 26, 949-961 (2009)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. H. Helson and V. B. Jeffers, “Fundamental problems in color vision, ii. hue, lightness, and saturation of selective samples in chromatic illumination,” J. Exp. Psychol. 26, 1-27 (1940). [CrossRef]
  2. E. J. Breneman, “Corresponding chromaticities for different states of adaptation to complex visual fields,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 1115-1129 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  3. J. J. McCann, S. P. McKee, and T. H. Taylor, “Quantitative studies in retinex theory. A comparison between theoretical predictions and observer responses to the “color Mondrian” experiments,” Vision Res. 16, 445-458 (1976). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. L. Arend and A. Reeves, “Simultaneous color constancy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 1743-1751 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  5. D. H. Brainard, W. A. Brunt, and J. M. Speigle, “Color constancy in the nearly natural image. I Asymmetric matches,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 14, 2091-2110 (1997). [CrossRef]
  6. D. H. Brainard, “Color constancy in the nearly natural image. II. Achromatic loci,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 15, 307-325 (1998). [CrossRef]
  7. E. H. Land and J. J. McCann, “Lightness and retinex theory,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 61, 1-11 (1971). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. M. H. Brill, “A device performing illuminant-invariant assessment of chromatic relations,” J. Theor. Biol. 71, 473-478 (1978). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  9. M. H. Brill, “Further features of the illuminant-invariant trichromatic photosensor,” J. Theor. Biol. 78, 305-308 (1979). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. G. West and M. H. Brill, “Necessary and sufficient conditions for von Kries chromatic adaptation to give color constancy,” J. Math. Biol. 15, 249-258 (1982). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. J. A. Worthey and M. H. Brill, “Heuristic analysis of von Kries color constancy,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 1708-1712 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  12. D. H. Brainard and B. A. Wandell, “Analysis of the retinex theory of color vision,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 3, 1651-1661 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  13. D. H. Foster and S. M. Nascimento, “Relational colour constancy from invariant cone-excitation ratios,” Proc. R. Soc. London 257, 115-121 (1994). [CrossRef]
  14. H. Wallach, “Brightness constancy and the nature of achromatic colors,” J. Exp. Psychol. 38, 310-324 (1948). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  15. T. N. Cornsweet, Visual Perception (Academic, 1970).
  16. E. H. Land, “Recent advances in retinex theory,” Vision Res. 26, 7-21 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. J. Walraven, “Discounting the background-the missing link in the explanation of chromatic induction,” Vision Res. 16, 289-295 (1976). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. S. K. Shevell, “The dual role of chromatic backgrounds in color perception,” Vision Res. 18, 1649-1661 (1978). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. A. Gilchrist, Seeing Black and White (Oxford U. Press, 2006). [CrossRef]
  20. E. H. Adelson, “Lightness perception and lightness illusions,” in The New Cognitive Neurosciences, M.Gazzaniga, ed., 2nd ed. (MIT Press, 1999).
  21. R. Shapley, “The importance of contrast for the activity of single neurons, the vep and perception,” Vision Res. 26, 45-61 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. D. Katz, The World of Colour (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, 1935).
  23. L. E. Arend and B. Spehar, “Lightness, brightness, and brightness contrast: 2. reflectance variation,” Percept. Psychophys. 54, 457-468 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. J. M. Kraft and D. H. Brainard, “Mechanisms of color constancy under nearly natural viewing,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 96, 307-312 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  25. P. B. Delahunt and D. H. Brainard, “Does human color constancy incorporate the statistical regularity of natural daylight?” J. Vision 4, 57-81 (2004). [CrossRef]
  26. J. E. Hochberg and J. Beck, “Apparent spatial arrangement and perceived brightness,” J. Exp. Psychol. 47, 263-266 (1954). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. A. L. Gilchrist, “Perceived lightness depends on perceived spatial arrangement,” Science 195, 185-187 (1977). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  28. A. L. Gilchrist, “When does perceived lightness depend on perceived spatial arrangement?” Percept. Psychophys. 28, 527-538 (1980). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  29. M. G. Bloj, D. Kersten, and A. C. Hurlbert, “Perception of three-dimensional shape influences colour perception through mutual illumination,” Nature (London) 402, 877-879 (1999).
  30. H. Boyaci, K. Doerschner, J. L. Snyder, and L. T. Maloney, “Surface color perception in three-dimensional scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 311-321 (2006). [CrossRef]
  31. C. Ripamonti, M. Bloj, R. Hauck, M. Kiran, S. Greenwald, S. I. Maloney, and D. H. Brainard, “Measurements of the effect of surface slant on perceived lightness,” J. Vision 4, 747-763 (2004). [CrossRef]
  32. K. Doerschner, H. Boyaci, and L. T. Maloney, “Human observers compensate for secondary illumination originating in nearby chromatic surfaces,” J. Vision 4, 92-105 (2004). [CrossRef]
  33. M. Bloj, C. Ripamonti, K. Mitha, R. Hauck, S. Greenwald, and D. H. Brainard, “An equivalent illuminant model for the effect of surface slant on perceived lightness,” J. Vision 4, 735-746 (2004). [CrossRef]
  34. D. H. Brainard, “The psychophysics toolbox,” Spatial Vis. 10, 433-436 (1997). [CrossRef]
  35. A. B. Watson and D. G. Pelli, “Quest: a Bayesian adaptive psychometric method,” Percept. Psychophys. 33, 113-120 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  36. F. A. Wichmann and N. J. Hill, “The psychometric function: I. Fitting, sampling, and goodness-of-fit,” Percept. Psychophys. 63, 1293-1313 (2001). [CrossRef]
  37. P. Whittle and P. D. Challands, “The effect of background luminance on the brightness of flashes,” Vision Res. 9, 1095-1110 (1969). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  38. H. Akaike, “A new look at the statistical model identification,” IEEE Trans. Autom. Control 19, 716-723 (1974). [CrossRef]
  39. K. P. Burnham and D. R. Anderson, Model Selection and Multi-Model Inference (Springer, 2002).
  40. L. E. Arend and R. Goldstein, “Simultaneous constancy, lightness, and brightness,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 4, 2281-2285 (1987). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  41. K. H. Bauml, “Simultaneous color constancy: how surface color perception varies with the illuminant,” Vision Res. 39, 1531-1550 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  42. L. E. Arend and B. Spehar, “Lightness, brightness, and brightness contrast: 1. Illuminance variation,” Percept. Psychophys. 54, 446-456 (1993). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  43. B. Blakeslee, D. Reetz, and M. E. McCourt, “Coming to terms with lightness and brightness: effects of stimulus configuration and instructions on brightness and lightness judgments,” J. Vision 8, 1-14 (2008). [CrossRef]
  44. A. J. Reeves, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Color constancy: phenomenal or projective?” Percept. Psychophys. 70, 219-228 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  45. Z. Pylyshyn, “Is vision continuous with cognition? the case for cognitive impenetrability of visual perception,” Behav. Brain Sci. 22, 341-365; discussion, pp. 366-423 (1999). [PubMed]
  46. A. D. Logvinenko, K. Petrini, and L. T. Maloney, “A scaling analysis of the snake lightness illusion,” Percept. Psychophys. 70, 828-840 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  47. J. M. Hillis and D. H. Brainard, “Distinct mechanisms mediate visual detection and identification,” Curr. Biol. 17, 1714-1719 (2007). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  48. A. Gilchrist, C. Kossyfidis, F. Bonato, T. Agostini, J. Cataliotti, X. Li, B. Spehar, V. Annan, and E. Economou, “An anchoring theory of lightness perception,” Psychol. Rev. 106, 795-834 (1999). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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