Chromatic variations suppress suprathreshold brightness variations


Kingdom FAA, Bell J, Gheorghiu E & Malkoc G (2010) Chromatic variations suppress suprathreshold brightness variations. Journal of Vision, 10 (10), Art. No.: 13.

Most objects in natural scenes are suprathreshold in both color (chromatic) and luminance contrast. How salient is each dimension? We have developed a novel method employing a stimulus similar to that used by B. C. Regan and J. D. Mollon (1997) who studied the relative saliencies of the two chromatic cardinal directions. Our stimuli consist of left- and right-oblique modulations of color and/or luminance defined within a lattice of circles. In the "separated" condition, the two modulations were presented separately as forced-choice pairs, and the task was to indicate which was more salient. In the "combined" condition, the two orthogonal-in-orientation modulations were added, and the task was to indicate the more salient orientation. The ratio of color to luminance contrast at the PSE was calculated for both conditions. Across color directions, 48% more luminance contrast relative to color contrast was required to achieve a PSE in the "combined" compared to the "separated" condition. A second experiment showed that the PSE difference was due to the luminance being masked by the color, rather than due to superior color grouping. We conclude that suprathreshold brightness variations are masked by suprathreshold color variations.

color vision; contrast gain; masking

Journal of Vision: Volume 10, Issue 10

Publication date31/08/2010
PublisherAssociation for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology