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Proceedings Paper

Some concluding thoughts
Author(s): Clyde L. Hardin
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Paper Abstract

So what does color do for the human animal? Jack Werner and Lois Swirnoff say that it helps delimit form. Rolf Kuehni disputes this, arguing that achromats are able to discern form, as are the rest of us when we view achromatic images. Closer examination shows that both are right. For the most part, achromatic contrasts suffice. But there are situations, particularly in the dappled environment of a forest floor, when the achromatic image is ambiguous, and color helps one to segment it: I see bits of lion behind that bush! In her "Dimensional Color" work, Lois makes a similar point by showing how different applications of color will disambiguate a figure in different ways. Roif might well reply that the examples that Jack and Lois produce are minor as compared with the great variety of scenes for which achromatic contrast suffices to detect significant forms. Were these worth the evolutionary cost of innovating chromatic vision?

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 June 2002
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 4421, 9th Congress of the International Colour Association, (6 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.464709
Show Author Affiliations
Clyde L. Hardin, Syracuse Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4421:
9th Congress of the International Colour Association
Robert Chung; Allan Rodrigues, Editor(s)

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