Proceedings PaperPsychological Aspects Of Underwater Vision
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In the field of psychology, very few studies have been concerned with the underwater human photo-optical system. The present paper is based upon a review of approximately 300 publications related to the psychological and behavioral analysis of the photo-optical systems of marine and land animals. Some of these publications include discussions of human vision under water and on land. Information obtained from this review can be useful in the planning of needed research programs and in the design of future underwater instrumentation. The present paper concerns the capabilities and limitations in hue and intensity discriminations of various marine and land animals, including man. Emphasis is on the methodological problems in experimental measurement. With respect to animals, instrumental, physiological, and photo-chemical methods are discussed; for humans, psychophysical methods (i.e., methods of limits, of adjustments, and of constant stimuli) are discussed. The major finding of the present review is that marine animals use color and motion stimuli as cues almost exclusively in contrast to land animals who use primarily distance, shape,and size stimuli as cues, although marine and land animals have structurally similar eyes. This dif ference is discussed in relation to a comparison of the perceptual capabilities and limitations of humans in underwater and land situations. Psychological research in this area may help in the development of reliable underwater illumination methods and the design of underwater instrumentation.