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Time course of chromatic adaptation for color appearance and discrimination

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons84173

Rinner,  O
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons83926

Gegenfurtner,  KR
Department Human Perception, Cognition and Action, Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics, Max Planck Society;

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Rinner, O., & Gegenfurtner, K.(1999). Time course of chromatic adaptation for color appearance and discrimination (69).


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0013-E641-1
Abstract
Adaptation to a steady background has a profound effect on both color appearance and discrimination. We determined the temporal characteristics of chromatic adaptation for appearance and discrimination along different color directions. Subjects were adapted to a large uniform background made up of a CRT screen and a 45x64 deg wall, illuminated by computer controlled lamps. After an instant change in background color along a red-green or blue-yellow color axes, we measured thresholds for the detection of increments along the same axes at fixed times between 25 ms and 121 s. Analogously, color appearance was determined using achromatic matching. Three components of adaptation could be identified by their temporal characteristics. A slow exponential time course of adaptation with a half-life of about 20 seconds was common to appearance and discrimination. A faster component with a half-life of 40-70 ms - probably due to photoreceptor adaptation - was also common to both. Exclusive for color appearance, there was a third, extremely rapid mechanism with a half-life faster than 10ms. This instantaneous process explained more than 50 of total adaptation for color appearance and could be shown to act in a multiplicative manner. We conclude that this instantaneous adaptation mechanism for color appearance is situated at a later processing stage, after mechanisms common to appearance and discrimination, and is based on multiplicative spatial interactions rather than on local, temporal adaptational processes. Color appearance, and thus color constancy, seems to be determined in large part by cortical computations.