Abstract

We have attempted to reconcile the results of several recent chromatic flicker studies. By adjusting the relative amplitudes of red and green sine-wave stimuli that were flickering in opposite phase, we obtained conditions varying from purely chromatic (red–green) stimulation, through each “silent-cone” condition, to purely luminous (homochromatic) stimulation. We also tested the effects of adapting backgrounds in each condition. Our results can be explained in terms of a low-frequency band that represents the opponent-color response, and a high-frequency band that represents the achromatic response. These two bands respond in various proportions, depending on the red–green stimulus ratio. Chromatic adaptation generally affects the low- and high-frequency bands differently and hence changes the shape of the flicker sensitivity curve. However, if the temporally varying waveform and the adapting background are both chosen to stimulate the same cone type, then the opponent-color and achromatic bands are both attenuated by the same amount. In this case, the shapes of the silent-red and silent-green flicker curves are preserved under chromatic adaptation. We conclude that none of these flicker curves are controlled by the temporal characteristics of independent cone types.

© 1977 Optical Society of America

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References

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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
  8. O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms, ”Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
    [CrossRef]
  9. R. M. Boynton and W. S. Baron, “Sinusoidal flicker characteristics of primate cones in response to heterochromatic stimuli, ” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 1091–1100 (1975).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, “On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries, ”Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

1976 (2)

D. H. Kelly, “Pattern detection and the two-dimensional Fourier transform: Flickering checkerboards and chromatic mechanisms,” Vision Res. 16, 277–287 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, R. M. Boynton, and W. S. Baron, “Primate flicker sensitivity: Psychophysics and electrophysiology, ”Science 194, 1077–1079 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1975 (3)

R. M. Boynton and W. S. Baron, “Sinusoidal flicker characteristics of primate cones in response to heterochromatic stimuli, ” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 1091–1100 (1975).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, “Luminous and chromatic flickering patterns have opposite effects,” Science 188, 371–372 (1975).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms, ”Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[CrossRef]

1974 (2)

O. Estévez and H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour systems,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[CrossRef]

D. H. Kelly, “Spatiotemporal frequency characteristics of color-vision mechanisms,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 983–990 (1974).
[CrossRef]

1971 (1)

J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, “On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries, ”Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1969 (3)

1966 (1)

P. L. Walraven, “A zone theory of color vision, ”Die Farbe 15, 17–20 (1966).

1964 (1)

1960 (1)

1958 (1)

1957 (1)

L. M. Hurvich and D. Jameson, “An opponent-process theory of color vision, ”Psychol. Rev. 64, 384–404 (1957).
[CrossRef]

1916 (1)

L. T. Troland, “Notes on flicker photometry,” J. Franklin Inst. 181, 853–855 (1916);J. Franklin Inst.182261–263 (1916).
[CrossRef]

Baron, W. S.

D. H. Kelly, R. M. Boynton, and W. S. Baron, “Primate flicker sensitivity: Psychophysics and electrophysiology, ”Science 194, 1077–1079 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

R. M. Boynton and W. S. Baron, “Sinusoidal flicker characteristics of primate cones in response to heterochromatic stimuli, ” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 65, 1091–1100 (1975).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Bouman, M. A.

Boynton, R. M.

Cavonius, C. R.

O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms, ”Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[CrossRef]

deLange, H.

Estévez, O.

O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms, ”Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[CrossRef]

O. Estévez and H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour systems,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[CrossRef]

Green, D. G.

D. G. Green, “Sinusoidal flicker characteristics of the color-sensitive mechanisms of the eye, ”Vision Res. 9, 591–601 (1969).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hurvich, L. M.

L. M. Hurvich and D. Jameson, “An opponent-process theory of color vision, ”Psychol. Rev. 64, 384–404 (1957).
[CrossRef]

Jameson, D.

L. M. Hurvich and D. Jameson, “An opponent-process theory of color vision, ”Psychol. Rev. 64, 384–404 (1957).
[CrossRef]

Kelly, D. H.

D. H. Kelly, R. M. Boynton, and W. S. Baron, “Primate flicker sensitivity: Psychophysics and electrophysiology, ”Science 194, 1077–1079 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, “Pattern detection and the two-dimensional Fourier transform: Flickering checkerboards and chromatic mechanisms,” Vision Res. 16, 277–287 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, “Luminous and chromatic flickering patterns have opposite effects,” Science 188, 371–372 (1975).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, “Spatiotemporal frequency characteristics of color-vision mechanisms,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 64, 983–990 (1974).
[CrossRef]

Leebeek, H. J.

Spekreijse, H.

O. Estévez and H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour systems,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[CrossRef]

Troland, L. T.

L. T. Troland, “Notes on flicker photometry,” J. Franklin Inst. 181, 853–855 (1916);J. Franklin Inst.182261–263 (1916).
[CrossRef]

van der Horst, G. J. C.

Vos, J. J.

J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, “On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries, ”Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Walraven, P. L.

J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, “On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries, ”Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

P. L. Walraven, “A zone theory of color vision, ”Die Farbe 15, 17–20 (1966).

P. L. Walraven and H. J. Leebeek, “Phase shift of sinusoidally alternating colored stimuli, ” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 54, 78–82 (1964).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Die Farbe (1)

P. L. Walraven, “A zone theory of color vision, ”Die Farbe 15, 17–20 (1966).

J. Franklin Inst. (1)

L. T. Troland, “Notes on flicker photometry,” J. Franklin Inst. 181, 853–855 (1916);J. Franklin Inst.182261–263 (1916).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (7)

Psychol. Rev. (1)

L. M. Hurvich and D. Jameson, “An opponent-process theory of color vision, ”Psychol. Rev. 64, 384–404 (1957).
[CrossRef]

Science (2)

D. H. Kelly, “Luminous and chromatic flickering patterns have opposite effects,” Science 188, 371–372 (1975).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, R. M. Boynton, and W. S. Baron, “Primate flicker sensitivity: Psychophysics and electrophysiology, ”Science 194, 1077–1079 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Vision Res. (5)

O. Estévez and H. Spekreijse, “A spectral compensation method for determining the flicker characteristics of the human colour systems,” Vision Res. 14, 823–830 (1974).
[CrossRef]

O. Estévez and C. R. Cavonius, “Flicker sensitivity of the human red and green color mechanisms, ”Vision Res. 15, 879–881 (1975).
[CrossRef]

D. G. Green, “Sinusoidal flicker characteristics of the color-sensitive mechanisms of the eye, ”Vision Res. 9, 591–601 (1969).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

J. J. Vos and P. L. Walraven, “On the derivation of the foveal receptor primaries, ”Vision Res. 11, 799–818 (1971).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

D. H. Kelly, “Pattern detection and the two-dimensional Fourier transform: Flickering checkerboards and chromatic mechanisms,” Vision Res. 16, 277–287 (1976).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

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Figures (14)

FIG. 1
FIG. 1

Sensitivity to purely luminous flicker (open symbols) and purely chromatic, red–green flicker (filled symbols) in a 1.8° field; dark surround; artificial pupil, 2.3 m; retinal illuminance, 860 td; subject, DvN. The chromaticities of the red and green endpoints for 100% chromatic modulation are given in Table I. The luminous flicker condition was obtained by shifting these red and green stimuli into the same phase.

FIG. 2
FIG. 2

Schematic diagrams of the most general stimulus waveform configuration used in the present study. The left and right diagrams represent two different modulation settings at the same average luminance, showing how the stimulus could be adjusted by the subject. All waveforms are plotted cumulatively, to show the total luminance; here, the amplitude of the green component is greater than that of the red component. Note that both red and green modulations change proportionately, while the yellow background is varied to maintain the average luminance constant. In some experiments, a red or blue adapting background was also superimposed on these three components.

FIG. 3
FIG. 3

Schematic diagrams of the stimulus waveforms used in the experiments of Figs. 1 and 4. The purely chromatic (red–green) stimulus (a) was defined by flicker photometry. For the purely luminous (yellow) flicker stimulus (b) these equiluminous red and green waveforms were shifted into the same phase. In stimulus (c), the amplitude of the red waveform was doubled and the green waveform was eliminated. This mixed stimulus thus includes both the luminous flicker component of stimulus (b) and the chromatic component of (a).

FIG. 4
FIG. 4

Modulation sensitivities measured with the mixed stimulus of Fig. 3(c); other conditions same as Fig. 1. The solid and dashed curves show the underlying luminous and chromatic sensitivities for comparison, replotted from Fig. 1 with no vertical adjustment. The arrows indicate the high and low frequencies chosen for the abridged flicker measurements of Figs. 5 and 7.

FIG. 5
FIG. 5

Modulation sensitivities at 1 Hz (for DHK) and 28 Hz (for DvN), as functions of red–green balance, with and without a red background (Wratten 70, 104 td). The abscissa is G/(R + G), where the R and G stimuli were measured in luminous units, so that a balance of 0. 5 corresponds to purely chromatic flicker, as illustrated in Fig. 3(a). The waveform in Fig. 3(c) has an abscissa value of zero, and Fig. 2 represents the G* point (0.61). Filled circles show the thresholds obtained with no background (except for the standard yellow component that keeps the luminance constant). Open circles show the effect of red adaptation. The arrows labeled “R*” and “G*” represent the silent-green and silent-red balance conditions, respectively (see Appendix). Other conditions as in Fig. 1.

FIG. 6
FIG. 6

Modulation sensitivity to purely chromatic, equiluminous flicker, with and without red adaptation. The unadapted data (filled circles) are the same as those shown in Fig. 1. Open circles show the effect of superimposing the same red background as in Fig. 5. The large decrease of sensitivity at low frequencies and the small reversal at high frequencies are both consistent with Fig. 5. Subject DvN.

FIG. 7
FIG. 7

Ratio of the 28 Hz to the 1 Hz threshold, as a function of red–green balance, with and without red adaptation; average data for subjects DHK and DvN. According to this “shape factor”, the red background would not affect the shape of the R* flicker curve, and the unadapted G* curve would also have a similar shape (but the,adapted one would not). In the waveform diagrams, steady components are omitted for clarity; these waveforms also apply to Fig. 5.

FIG. 8
FIG. 8

Sensitivity to silent-green flicker for two subjects, with and without the standard red background (open and filled symbols, respectively). The same template curve is shown for both conditions and both subjects. With the possible exception of very low frequencies (< 1 Hz), the curve shape seems to be invariant under red adaptation (as suggested by Fig. 7).

FIG. 9
FIG. 9

Sensitivity to silent-red flicker for two subjects, with and without chromatic adaptation. In this case the background was blue (Wratten 47, 104td). The same template curve is shown for both conditions and both subjects. (This is not the same curve that was used in Fig. 8).

FIG. 10
FIG. 10

Sensitivity to silent-red flicker for subject DvN, with and without the standard red background (circles). Squares show the effect of superimposing a much more intense red background (Wratten 92, 105 td) on the same stimulus.

FIG. 11
FIG. 11

Effects of the standard red background on the curve shapes measured at the extremes of the red–green balance scale, where both cone types are stimulated in the same phase. Other conditions same as Fig. 1. (a) Red flicker beam only, with and without the red background, (b) Green flicker beam only, with and without the red background; the same template curve was fitted to both sets of data. Subject DvN.

FIG. 12
FIG. 12

Sensitivity to purely chromatic, equiluminous flicker, with and without red adaptation as in Fig. 6, but with field diameter increased to 10° (for both stimulus and background). Subject DHK.

FIG. 13
FIG. 13

Sensitivity to green flicker beam only, with and without the standard red background as in Fig. 11(b), but for a 10° field. Same template curve for both sets of data. Subject DHK.

FIG. 14
FIG. 14

Sensitivity to silent-green (circles) and silent-red (squares) 10° flickering fields. The dashed curve shows the 10°, purely chromatic, equiluminous sensitivity for comparison, replotted from Fig. 12. Subject DHK.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

TABLE I Chromatic stimuli used in four flicker studies.

Equations (3)

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g ( λ ) V ( λ ) d λ = r ( λ ) V ( λ ) d λ ,
R * g ( λ ) S G ( λ ) d λ = ( 1 R * ) r ( λ ) S G ( λ ) d λ
R * = r ( λ ) S G ( λ ) d λ [ r ( λ ) + g ( λ ) ] S G ( λ ) d λ .