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The time-course of colour vision

LEE, ROBERT,JAMES (2010) The time-course of colour vision. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Four experiments are presented, each investigating temporal properties of colour vision processing in human observers. The first experiment replicates and extends an experiment by Stromeyer et al. (1991). We look for a phase difference between combined temporal modulations in orthogonal directions in colour space, which might null the often-claimed latency of signals originating from the short-wavelength sensitive cones (S-cones). We provide another estimate of the magnitude of this latency, and give evidence to suggest that it originates early in the chromatic pathway, before signals from S-cones are combined with those that receive opposed L- and M-cone input. In the second experiment we adapt observers to two stimuli that are matched in the mean and amplitude of modulation they offer to the cone classes and to the cardinal opponent mechanisms, but that differ in chromatic appearance, and hence their modulation of later colour mechanisms. Chromatic discrimination thresholds after adaptation to these two stimuli differ along intermediate directions in colour space, and we argue that these differences reveal the adaptation response of central colour mechanisms. In the third experiment we demonstrate similar adaptation using the same stimuli, measured with reaction times rather than thresholds. In the final experiment, we measure the degree to which colour constancy is achieved as a function of time in a simulated stimulus environment in which the illuminant changes periodically. We find that perfect constancy is not achieved instantaneously after an illuminant chromaticity shift and that constancy of colour appearance judgements increases over several seconds.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Vision; colour; latency; constancy; psychophysics; temporal
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Science > Psychology, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:06 Apr 2010 15:02

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