Abstract

Cone-excitation ratios for pairs of surfaces are almost invariant under changes in illumination and offer a possible basis for color constancy [Proc. R. Soc. London Ser. B 257, 115 (1994)]. We extend this idea to the perception of transparency on the basis of the close analogy between the changes in color signals that occur for surfaces when the illumination changes and the changes in color signals when the surfaces are covered by a filter. This study presents measurements and simulations to investigate the conditions under which cone-excitation ratios are statistically invariant for physically transparent systems. The invariance breaks down when the spectral transmission of the filters is low at some or all wavelengths. We suggest that cone-excitation ratios might be useful to define the stimulus conditions necessary for the perception of transparency.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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