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Large shifts in color appearance from patterned chromatic backgrounds


The perceived color of a light varies with the background on which it is seen. In the present study, patterned backgrounds composed of two different chromaticities caused larger shifts in perceived color than did a uniform background at either chromaticity within the pattern. Cortical receptive-field organization, but not optical factors or known retinal neurons, can account for the color shifts from patterned backgrounds.

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Figure 1: Shifts in color appearance caused by nearby light.
Figure 2: Color matches to a test ring within a patterned or uniform chromatic background.
Figure 3: Color-match settings for the S/(L+M) direction.


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Supported by NIH grant EY-04802. Publication supported in part by an unrestricted grant to the Department of Ophthalmology & Visual Science from Research to Prevent Blindness.

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Correspondence to Steven K Shevell.

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Monnier, P., Shevell, S. Large shifts in color appearance from patterned chromatic backgrounds. Nat Neurosci 6, 801–802 (2003).

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