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Proceedings Paper

What determines unique yellow, L/M cone ratio or visual experience?
Author(s): Yasuki Yamauchi; David R. Williams; David H. Brainard; Austin Roorda; Joseph Carroll; Maureen Neitz; Jay Neitz; Jack Calderone; Gerald H. Jacobs
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Paper Abstract

Unique yellow is considered to represent the equilibrium point of the red-green opponent chromatic mechanism. There are several hypotheses that attempt to explain how this equilibrium point is established. The determinant for unique yellow, however, has not yet been clarified. Here we explored whether the L/M cone ratio or visual information determines unique yellow. If the former is the case, we expect that subjects with large differences in their L/M cone ratio would set different spectral lights to appear as unique yellow. The results of such an experiment, however, did not show a substantial difference in the value of unique yellow for two subjects with very different cone ratios. On the other hand, if the latter is the case, unique yellow should change when altering the chromaticity of the surrounding visual environment. To test this hypothesis, we conducted long-term adaptation experiments, in which subjects spent 8 to 12 hours in a chromatically altered environment. A significant shift of unique yellow was observed after spending time in such an environment for several days. These results indicate that the red-green opponent channel includes a plastic normalization mechanism that adjusts its balance point based on visual experience.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2002
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 4421, 9th Congress of the International Colour Association, (6 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.464667
Show Author Affiliations
Yasuki Yamauchi, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
David R. Williams, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
David H. Brainard, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Austin Roorda, Univ. of Houston (United States)
Joseph Carroll, Medical College of Wisconsin (United States)
Maureen Neitz, Medical College of Wisconson (United States)
Jay Neitz, Medical College of Wisconsin (United States)
Jack Calderone, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)
Gerald H. Jacobs, Univ. of California/Santa Barbara (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4421:
9th Congress of the International Colour Association

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