Abstract

The number of colors discernible by normal trichromats has been estimated for the idealized object-color solid. How well these estimates apply to natural scenes is an open question, as it is unknown how much their colors approach the theoretical limits. The aim of this work was to estimate the number of discernible colors based on a database of hyperspectral images of 50 natural scenes. The color volume of each scene was computed in the CIELAB color space and was analyzed using the CIEDE2000 color-difference formula. It was found that the color volume of the set of natural scenes was about 30% of the theoretical maximum for the full object-color solid, and it corresponded to a number of about 2.3 million discernible colors. Moreover, when the lightness dimension was ignored, only about 26,000 (1%) could be perceived as different colors. These results suggest that natural stimuli may be more constrained than expected from the analysis of the theoretical limits.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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References

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2008 (3)

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “The number of discernible colors perceived by dichromats in natural scenes and the effects of colored lenses,” Visual Neurosci. 25, 493-499 (2008).
[CrossRef]

T. Hansen, M. Giesel, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic discrimination of natural objects,” J. Vision 8, 1-19 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Correlated color temperature preferred by observers for illumination of artistic paintings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 623-630 (2008).
[CrossRef]

2007 (2)

2006 (7)

T. Hansen, M. Olkkonen, S. Walter, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Memory modulates color appearance,” Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1367-1368 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

A. J. Zele, V. C. Smith, and J. Pokorny, “Spatial and temporal chromatic contrast: effects on chromatic discrimination for stimuli varying in L- and M-cone excitation,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 495-501 (2006).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. Wen, “Display gamut comparison with number of discernible colors,” J. Electron. Imaging 15, 043001 (2006).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, J. A. Carvalhal, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Psychophysical estimation of the best illumination for appreciation of Renaissance paintings,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 669-674 (2006).
[CrossRef]

C. Fischer and I. Kakoulli, “Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technologies in conservation: current research and potential applications,” Rev. Conserv. 3-12 (2006).

D. H. Foster, K. Amano, S. M. C. Nascimento, and M. J. Foster, “Frequency of metamerism in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 2359-2372 (2006).
[CrossRef]

2005 (2)

S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Psychophysical estimates of the number of spectral-reflectance basis functions needed to reproduce natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 1017-1022 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

2004 (3)

D. H. Foster, S. M. C. Nascimento, and K. Amano, “Information limits on neural identification of colored surfaces in natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 331-336 (2004).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, V. M. N. de Almeida, P. T. Fiadeiro, and D. H. Foster, “Minimum-variance cone-excitations ratios and the limits of relational color constancy,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 337-340 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Chromatic diversity of natural scenes,” Perception 33, 65-65 (2004).

2003 (2)

G. M. Johnson and M. D. Fairchild, “A top down description of S-CIELAB and CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 28, 425-435 (2003).
[CrossRef]

P. Vukusic and J. R. Sambles, “Photonic structures in biology,” Nature 424, 852-855 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

2002 (4)

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer, “Request for real surface colours,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 374-374 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “Further comments on CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 127-128 (2002).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, F. P. Ferreira, and D. H. Foster, “Statistics of spatial cone-excitation ratios in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 1484-1490 (2002).
[CrossRef]

2001 (2)

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “The development of the CIE 2000 colour-difference formula: CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 26, 340-350 (2001).
[CrossRef]

1999 (1)

K. Witt, “Geometric relations between scales of small colour differences,” Color Res. Appl. 24, 78-92 (1999).
[CrossRef]

1998 (2)

M. R. Pointer, “On the number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 337-337 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer and G. G. Attridge, “The number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 52-54 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1997 (1)

M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Adaptation and the color statistics of natural images,” Vision Res. 37, 3283-3298 (1997).
[CrossRef]

1992 (1)

J. Krauskopf and K. Gegenfurtner, “Color discrimination and adaptation,” Vision Res. 32, 2165-2175 (1992).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

1991 (1)

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

1990 (1)

K. Witt, “Parametric effects on surface color-difference evaluation at threshold,” Color Res. Appl. 15, 189-199 (1990).
[CrossRef]

1986 (1)

M. R. Luo and B. Rigg, “Chromaticity-discrimination ellipses for surface colors,” Color Res. Appl. 11, 25-42 (1986).
[CrossRef]

1980 (1)

M. R. Pointer, “The gamut of real surface colours,” Color Res. Appl. 5, 145-155 (1980).
[CrossRef]

1947 (1)

1943 (1)

1935 (2)

D. L. MacAdam, “Maximum visual efficiency of colored materials,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 25, 316-367 (1935).

D. L. MacAdam, “Theory of the maximum visual efficiency of colored materials,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. 25, 249-252 (1935).
[CrossRef]

1929 (1)

N. D. Nyberg, “Zum aufbau des farbenkörpers im raume aller lichtempfindungen,” Z. Phys. A 52, 406-419 (1929).

1927 (1)

R. Luther, “Aus dem Gebiet der Farbreizmetrik,” Zh. Tekh. Fiz. 8, 540-558 (1927).

1920 (1)

E. Schrödinger, “Theorie der pigmente von größter leuchtkraft,” Ann. Phys. 62, 603-622 (1920).
[CrossRef]

Aldaba, M. A.

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

Alman, D. H.

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Amano, K.

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. H. Foster, K. Amano, S. M. C. Nascimento, and M. J. Foster, “Frequency of metamerism in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 2359-2372 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Psychophysical estimates of the number of spectral-reflectance basis functions needed to reproduce natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 1017-1022 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

J. M. M. Linhares, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Chromatic diversity of natural scenes,” Perception 33, 65-65 (2004).

D. H. Foster, S. M. C. Nascimento, and K. Amano, “Information limits on neural identification of colored surfaces in natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 331-336 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Attridge, G. G.

M. R. Pointer and G. G. Attridge, “The number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 52-54 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Balononrosen, M. R.

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Berns, R. S.

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Capilla, P.

E. Perales, F. Martinez-Verdu, V. Viqueira, M. J. Luque, and P. Capilla, “Computing the number of distinguishable colors under several illuminants and light sources,” in Third IS&T European Conferences on Colour Graphics, Imaging and Vision (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2006), pp. 414-419.

Carvalhal, J. A.

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, J. A. Carvalhal, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Psychophysical estimation of the best illumination for appreciation of Renaissance paintings,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 669-674 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Charles-Dominique, P.

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Chorro, E.

Cui, G.

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “Further comments on CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 127-128 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “The development of the CIE 2000 colour-difference formula: CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 26, 340-350 (2001).
[CrossRef]

de Almeida, V. M. N.

S. M. C. Nascimento, V. M. N. de Almeida, P. T. Fiadeiro, and D. H. Foster, “Minimum-variance cone-excitations ratios and the limits of relational color constancy,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 337-340 (2004).
[CrossRef]

de Fez, D.

Fairchild, M. D.

G. M. Johnson and M. D. Fairchild, “A top down description of S-CIELAB and CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 28, 425-435 (2003).
[CrossRef]

M. D. Fairchild, Color Appearance Models (Wiley, 2005).

Farrell, J. E.

X. Zhang, D. A. Silverstein, J. E. Farrell, and B. A. Wandell, “Color image quality metric S-CIELAB and its application on halftone texture visibility,” in COMPCON97 Digest of Papers (IEEE, 1997), pp. 44-48.
[CrossRef]

Ferreira, F. P.

Fiadeiro, P. T.

S. M. C. Nascimento, V. M. N. de Almeida, P. T. Fiadeiro, and D. H. Foster, “Minimum-variance cone-excitations ratios and the limits of relational color constancy,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 337-340 (2004).
[CrossRef]

Fischer, C.

C. Fischer and I. Kakoulli, “Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technologies in conservation: current research and potential applications,” Rev. Conserv. 3-12 (2006).

Foster, D. H.

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. H. Foster, K. Amano, S. M. C. Nascimento, and M. J. Foster, “Frequency of metamerism in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 2359-2372 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Psychophysical estimates of the number of spectral-reflectance basis functions needed to reproduce natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 1017-1022 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

S. M. C. Nascimento, V. M. N. de Almeida, P. T. Fiadeiro, and D. H. Foster, “Minimum-variance cone-excitations ratios and the limits of relational color constancy,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 337-340 (2004).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Chromatic diversity of natural scenes,” Perception 33, 65-65 (2004).

D. H. Foster, S. M. C. Nascimento, and K. Amano, “Information limits on neural identification of colored surfaces in natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 331-336 (2004).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, F. P. Ferreira, and D. H. Foster, “Statistics of spatial cone-excitation ratios in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 1484-1490 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Foster, M. J.

Gegenfurtner, K.

J. Krauskopf and K. Gegenfurtner, “Color discrimination and adaptation,” Vision Res. 32, 2165-2175 (1992).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Gegenfurtner, K. R.

T. Hansen, M. Giesel, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic discrimination of natural objects,” J. Vision 8, 1-19 (2008).
[CrossRef]

T. Hansen and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic and luminance edges in natural scenes,” Perception 36, 193-193 (2007).

T. Hansen, M. Olkkonen, S. Walter, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Memory modulates color appearance,” Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1367-1368 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Giesel, M.

T. Hansen, M. Giesel, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic discrimination of natural objects,” J. Vision 8, 1-19 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Gilabert, E.

Hansen, T.

T. Hansen, M. Giesel, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic discrimination of natural objects,” J. Vision 8, 1-19 (2008).
[CrossRef]

T. Hansen and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic and luminance edges in natural scenes,” Perception 36, 193-193 (2007).

T. Hansen, M. Olkkonen, S. Walter, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Memory modulates color appearance,” Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1367-1368 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Hunt, R. W. G.

R. W. G. Hunt, Measuring Colour, 3rd ed. (Fountain Press, 1998).

Johnson, G. M.

G. M. Johnson and M. D. Fairchild, “A top down description of S-CIELAB and CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 28, 425-435 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Judd, D. B.

D. B. Judd and G. Wyszecki, Color in Business, Science and Industry, 3rd ed. (Wiley, 1975).

Julliot, C.

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Kakoulli, I.

C. Fischer and I. Kakoulli, “Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technologies in conservation: current research and potential applications,” Rev. Conserv. 3-12 (2006).

Krauskopf, J.

J. Krauskopf and K. Gegenfurtner, “Color discrimination and adaptation,” Vision Res. 32, 2165-2175 (1992).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Linhares, J. M. M.

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Correlated color temperature preferred by observers for illumination of artistic paintings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 623-630 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “The number of discernible colors perceived by dichromats in natural scenes and the effects of colored lenses,” Visual Neurosci. 25, 493-499 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, J. A. Carvalhal, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Psychophysical estimation of the best illumination for appreciation of Renaissance paintings,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 669-674 (2006).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

J. M. M. Linhares, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Chromatic diversity of natural scenes,” Perception 33, 65-65 (2004).

J. M. M. Linhares, “Estimating chromatic diversity from hyperspectral images,” M.Phil. thesis (University of Manchester, 2005).

Luo, M. R.

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “Further comments on CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 127-128 (2002).
[CrossRef]

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “The development of the CIE 2000 colour-difference formula: CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 26, 340-350 (2001).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo and B. Rigg, “Chromaticity-discrimination ellipses for surface colors,” Color Res. Appl. 11, 25-42 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Luque, M. J.

E. Perales, F. Martinez-Verdu, V. Viqueira, M. J. Luque, and P. Capilla, “Computing the number of distinguishable colors under several illuminants and light sources,” in Third IS&T European Conferences on Colour Graphics, Imaging and Vision (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2006), pp. 414-419.

Luther, R.

R. Luther, “Aus dem Gebiet der Farbreizmetrik,” Zh. Tekh. Fiz. 8, 540-558 (1927).

MacAdam, D. L.

Martinez-Verdu, F.

F. Martinez-Verdu, E. Perales, E. Chorro, D. de Fez, V. Viqueira, and E. Gilabert, “Computation and visualization of the MacAdam limits for any lightness, hue angle, and light source,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 1501-1515 (2007).
[CrossRef]

E. Perales, F. Martinez-Verdu, V. Viqueira, M. J. Luque, and P. Capilla, “Computing the number of distinguishable colors under several illuminants and light sources,” in Third IS&T European Conferences on Colour Graphics, Imaging and Vision (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2006), pp. 414-419.

Mollon, J. D.

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Adaptation and the color statistics of natural images,” Vision Res. 37, 3283-3298 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Morovic, P.

P. L. Sun and P. Morovic, “Inter-relating colour difference metrics,” in Tenth Color Imaging Conference: Color Science and Engineering System, Technologies, Applications (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2002), pp. 55-60.
[PubMed]

Nascimento, S. M. C.

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Correlated color temperature preferred by observers for illumination of artistic paintings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 623-630 (2008).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “The number of discernible colors perceived by dichromats in natural scenes and the effects of colored lenses,” Visual Neurosci. 25, 493-499 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, J. A. Carvalhal, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Psychophysical estimation of the best illumination for appreciation of Renaissance paintings,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 669-674 (2006).
[CrossRef]

D. H. Foster, K. Amano, S. M. C. Nascimento, and M. J. Foster, “Frequency of metamerism in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 23, 2359-2372 (2006).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Psychophysical estimates of the number of spectral-reflectance basis functions needed to reproduce natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 1017-1022 (2005).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Chromatic diversity of natural scenes,” Perception 33, 65-65 (2004).

S. M. C. Nascimento, V. M. N. de Almeida, P. T. Fiadeiro, and D. H. Foster, “Minimum-variance cone-excitations ratios and the limits of relational color constancy,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 337-340 (2004).
[CrossRef]

D. H. Foster, S. M. C. Nascimento, and K. Amano, “Information limits on neural identification of colored surfaces in natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 331-336 (2004).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, F. P. Ferreira, and D. H. Foster, “Statistics of spatial cone-excitation ratios in natural scenes,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 19, 1484-1490 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Nassau, K.

K. Nassau, Color for Science, Art and Technology (Elsevier Science B. V., 1998).

K. Nassau, The Physics and Chemistry of Color. The Fifteen Causes of Color (Wiley, 1983).

Newhall, S. M.

Nickerson, D.

Nyberg, N. D.

N. D. Nyberg, “Zum aufbau des farbenkörpers im raume aller lichtempfindungen,” Z. Phys. A 52, 406-419 (1929).

Olkkonen, M.

T. Hansen, M. Olkkonen, S. Walter, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Memory modulates color appearance,” Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1367-1368 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Perales, E.

F. Martinez-Verdu, E. Perales, E. Chorro, D. de Fez, V. Viqueira, and E. Gilabert, “Computation and visualization of the MacAdam limits for any lightness, hue angle, and light source,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 1501-1515 (2007).
[CrossRef]

E. Perales, F. Martinez-Verdu, V. Viqueira, M. J. Luque, and P. Capilla, “Computing the number of distinguishable colors under several illuminants and light sources,” in Third IS&T European Conferences on Colour Graphics, Imaging and Vision (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2006), pp. 414-419.

Pinto, P. D.

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “The number of discernible colors perceived by dichromats in natural scenes and the effects of colored lenses,” Visual Neurosci. 25, 493-499 (2008).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Correlated color temperature preferred by observers for illumination of artistic paintings,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 623-630 (2008).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, J. A. Carvalhal, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Psychophysical estimation of the best illumination for appreciation of Renaissance paintings,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 669-674 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

Pointer, M. R.

M. R. Pointer, “Request for real surface colours,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 374-374 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer, “On the number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 337-337 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer and G. G. Attridge, “The number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 52-54 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer, “The gamut of real surface colours,” Color Res. Appl. 5, 145-155 (1980).
[CrossRef]

Pokorny, J.

A. J. Zele, V. C. Smith, and J. Pokorny, “Spatial and temporal chromatic contrast: effects on chromatic discrimination for stimuli varying in L- and M-cone excitation,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 495-501 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Regan, B. C.

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Reniff, L.

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Rigg, B.

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “Further comments on CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 127-128 (2002).
[CrossRef]

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “The development of the CIE 2000 colour-difference formula: CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 26, 340-350 (2001).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo and B. Rigg, “Chromaticity-discrimination ellipses for surface colors,” Color Res. Appl. 11, 25-42 (1986).
[CrossRef]

Roesler, G.

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

Sambles, J. R.

P. Vukusic and J. R. Sambles, “Photonic structures in biology,” Nature 424, 852-855 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Schrödinger, E.

E. Schrödinger, “Theorie der pigmente von größter leuchtkraft,” Ann. Phys. 62, 603-622 (1920).
[CrossRef]

Silverstein, D. A.

X. Zhang, D. A. Silverstein, J. E. Farrell, and B. A. Wandell, “Color image quality metric S-CIELAB and its application on halftone texture visibility,” in COMPCON97 Digest of Papers (IEEE, 1997), pp. 44-48.
[CrossRef]

Simmen, B.

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Smith, V. C.

A. J. Zele, V. C. Smith, and J. Pokorny, “Spatial and temporal chromatic contrast: effects on chromatic discrimination for stimuli varying in L- and M-cone excitation,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 495-501 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Snyder, G. D.

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

Stiles, W. S.

G. Wyszecki and W. S. Stiles, Color Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 1982).

Sun, P. L.

P. L. Sun and P. Morovic, “Inter-relating colour difference metrics,” in Tenth Color Imaging Conference: Color Science and Engineering System, Technologies, Applications (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2002), pp. 55-60.
[PubMed]

Tilley, R. J. D.

R. J. D. Tilley, Colour and Optical Properties of Materials: an Exploration of the Relationship between Light, the Optical Properties of Materials and Colour (Wiley, 2000).
[PubMed]

Vienot, F.

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Viqueira, V.

F. Martinez-Verdu, E. Perales, E. Chorro, D. de Fez, V. Viqueira, and E. Gilabert, “Computation and visualization of the MacAdam limits for any lightness, hue angle, and light source,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 24, 1501-1515 (2007).
[CrossRef]

E. Perales, F. Martinez-Verdu, V. Viqueira, M. J. Luque, and P. Capilla, “Computing the number of distinguishable colors under several illuminants and light sources,” in Third IS&T European Conferences on Colour Graphics, Imaging and Vision (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2006), pp. 414-419.

Vukusic, P.

P. Vukusic and J. R. Sambles, “Photonic structures in biology,” Nature 424, 852-855 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Walter, S.

T. Hansen, M. Olkkonen, S. Walter, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Memory modulates color appearance,” Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1367-1368 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Wandell, B. A.

X. Zhang, D. A. Silverstein, J. E. Farrell, and B. A. Wandell, “Color image quality metric S-CIELAB and its application on halftone texture visibility,” in COMPCON97 Digest of Papers (IEEE, 1997), pp. 44-48.
[CrossRef]

Webster, M. A.

M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Adaptation and the color statistics of natural images,” Vision Res. 37, 3283-3298 (1997).
[CrossRef]

Wen, S.

S. Wen, “Display gamut comparison with number of discernible colors,” J. Electron. Imaging 15, 043001 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Witt, K.

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

K. Witt, “Geometric relations between scales of small colour differences,” Color Res. Appl. 24, 78-92 (1999).
[CrossRef]

K. Witt, “Parametric effects on surface color-difference evaluation at threshold,” Color Res. Appl. 15, 189-199 (1990).
[CrossRef]

Wyszecki, G.

D. B. Judd and G. Wyszecki, Color in Business, Science and Industry, 3rd ed. (Wiley, 1975).

G. Wyszecki and W. S. Stiles, Color Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 1982).

Zele, A. J.

A. J. Zele, V. C. Smith, and J. Pokorny, “Spatial and temporal chromatic contrast: effects on chromatic discrimination for stimuli varying in L- and M-cone excitation,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 495-501 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Zhang, X.

X. Zhang, D. A. Silverstein, J. E. Farrell, and B. A. Wandell, “Color image quality metric S-CIELAB and its application on halftone texture visibility,” in COMPCON97 Digest of Papers (IEEE, 1997), pp. 44-48.
[CrossRef]

Ann. Phys. (1)

E. Schrödinger, “Theorie der pigmente von größter leuchtkraft,” Ann. Phys. 62, 603-622 (1920).
[CrossRef]

Color Res. Appl. (12)

M. R. Pointer and G. G. Attridge, “The number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 52-54 (1998).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer, “On the number of discernible colours,” Color Res. Appl. 23, 337-337 (1998).
[CrossRef]

G. Cui, M. R. Luo, B. Rigg, G. Roesler, and K. Witt, “Uniform colour spaces based on the DIN99 colour-difference formula,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 282-290 (2002).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer, “The gamut of real surface colours,” Color Res. Appl. 5, 145-155 (1980).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Pointer, “Request for real surface colours,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 374-374 (2002).
[CrossRef]

R. S. Berns, D. H. Alman, L. Reniff, G. D. Snyder, and M. R. Balononrosen, “Visual determination of suprathreshold color-difference tolerances using probit analysis,” Color Res. Appl. 16, 297-316 (1991).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo and B. Rigg, “Chromaticity-discrimination ellipses for surface colors,” Color Res. Appl. 11, 25-42 (1986).
[CrossRef]

K. Witt, “Parametric effects on surface color-difference evaluation at threshold,” Color Res. Appl. 15, 189-199 (1990).
[CrossRef]

K. Witt, “Geometric relations between scales of small colour differences,” Color Res. Appl. 24, 78-92 (1999).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “The development of the CIE 2000 colour-difference formula: CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 26, 340-350 (2001).
[CrossRef]

M. R. Luo, G. Cui, and B. Rigg, “Further comments on CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 27, 127-128 (2002).
[CrossRef]

G. M. Johnson and M. D. Fairchild, “A top down description of S-CIELAB and CIEDE2000,” Color Res. Appl. 28, 425-435 (2003).
[CrossRef]

Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. (1)

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, M. A. Aldaba, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Viewing natural scenes through colored filters,” Invest. Ophthalmol. Visual Sci. 46, E-Abstract 4686 (2005).

J. Electron. Imaging (1)

S. Wen, “Display gamut comparison with number of discernible colors,” J. Electron. Imaging 15, 043001 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. Opt. Soc. Am. (4)

J. Opt. Soc. Am. A (5)

J. Vision (1)

T. Hansen, M. Giesel, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic discrimination of natural objects,” J. Vision 8, 1-19 (2008).
[CrossRef]

Nat. Neurosci. (1)

T. Hansen, M. Olkkonen, S. Walter, and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Memory modulates color appearance,” Nat. Neurosci. 9, 1367-1368 (2006).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Nature (1)

P. Vukusic and J. R. Sambles, “Photonic structures in biology,” Nature 424, 852-855 (2003).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Perception (2)

J. M. M. Linhares, S. M. C. Nascimento, D. H. Foster, and K. Amano, “Chromatic diversity of natural scenes,” Perception 33, 65-65 (2004).

T. Hansen and K. R. Gegenfurtner, “Chromatic and luminance edges in natural scenes,” Perception 36, 193-193 (2007).

Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B (1)

B. C. Regan, C. Julliot, B. Simmen, F. Vienot, P. Charles-Dominique, and J. D. Mollon, “Fruits, foliage and the evolution of primate colour vision,” Philos. Trans. R. Soc. London, Ser. B 356, 229-283 (2001).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Rev. Conserv. (1)

C. Fischer and I. Kakoulli, “Multispectral and hyperspectral imaging technologies in conservation: current research and potential applications,” Rev. Conserv. 3-12 (2006).

Vision Res. (2)

M. A. Webster and J. D. Mollon, “Adaptation and the color statistics of natural images,” Vision Res. 37, 3283-3298 (1997).
[CrossRef]

J. Krauskopf and K. Gegenfurtner, “Color discrimination and adaptation,” Vision Res. 32, 2165-2175 (1992).
[CrossRef] [PubMed]

Visual Neurosci. (6)

D. H. Foster, S. M. C. Nascimento, and K. Amano, “Information limits on neural identification of colored surfaces in natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 331-336 (2004).
[CrossRef]

P. D. Pinto, J. M. M. Linhares, J. A. Carvalhal, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “Psychophysical estimation of the best illumination for appreciation of Renaissance paintings,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 669-674 (2006).
[CrossRef]

J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, and S. M. C. Nascimento, “The number of discernible colors perceived by dichromats in natural scenes and the effects of colored lenses,” Visual Neurosci. 25, 493-499 (2008).
[CrossRef]

A. J. Zele, V. C. Smith, and J. Pokorny, “Spatial and temporal chromatic contrast: effects on chromatic discrimination for stimuli varying in L- and M-cone excitation,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 495-501 (2006).
[CrossRef]

S. M. C. Nascimento, V. M. N. de Almeida, P. T. Fiadeiro, and D. H. Foster, “Minimum-variance cone-excitations ratios and the limits of relational color constancy,” Visual Neurosci. 21, 337-340 (2004).
[CrossRef]

M. A. Aldaba, J. M. M. Linhares, P. D. Pinto, S. M. C. Nascimento, K. Amano, and D. H. Foster, “Visual sensitivity to color errors in images of natural scenes,” Visual Neurosci. 23, 555-559 (2006).
[CrossRef]

Z. Phys. A (1)

N. D. Nyberg, “Zum aufbau des farbenkörpers im raume aller lichtempfindungen,” Z. Phys. A 52, 406-419 (1929).

Zh. Tekh. Fiz. (1)

R. Luther, “Aus dem Gebiet der Farbreizmetrik,” Zh. Tekh. Fiz. 8, 540-558 (1927).

Other (12)

G. Wyszecki and W. S. Stiles, Color Science: Concepts and Methods, Quantitative Data and Formulae, 2nd ed. (Wiley, 1982).

M. D. Fairchild, Color Appearance Models (Wiley, 2005).

CIE, Colorimetry, CIE Publ. 15:2004 (Commission Internationale de L'Eclairage, 2004).

J. M. M. Linhares, “Estimating chromatic diversity from hyperspectral images,” M.Phil. thesis (University of Manchester, 2005).

R. J. D. Tilley, Colour and Optical Properties of Materials: an Exploration of the Relationship between Light, the Optical Properties of Materials and Colour (Wiley, 2000).
[PubMed]

K. Nassau, The Physics and Chemistry of Color. The Fifteen Causes of Color (Wiley, 1983).

K. Nassau, Color for Science, Art and Technology (Elsevier Science B. V., 1998).

E. Perales, F. Martinez-Verdu, V. Viqueira, M. J. Luque, and P. Capilla, “Computing the number of distinguishable colors under several illuminants and light sources,” in Third IS&T European Conferences on Colour Graphics, Imaging and Vision (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2006), pp. 414-419.

D. B. Judd and G. Wyszecki, Color in Business, Science and Industry, 3rd ed. (Wiley, 1975).

R. W. G. Hunt, Measuring Colour, 3rd ed. (Fountain Press, 1998).

X. Zhang, D. A. Silverstein, J. E. Farrell, and B. A. Wandell, “Color image quality metric S-CIELAB and its application on halftone texture visibility,” in COMPCON97 Digest of Papers (IEEE, 1997), pp. 44-48.
[CrossRef]

P. L. Sun and P. Morovic, “Inter-relating colour difference metrics,” in Tenth Color Imaging Conference: Color Science and Engineering System, Technologies, Applications (Society for Imaging Science and Technology, 2002), pp. 55-60.
[PubMed]

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Figures (4)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Thumbnails of the 50 scenes analyzed in this study.  

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Examples of three scenes of the database. On the left are represented the color images, and on the right the CIELAB representation of each of the scenes. For clarity, only a fraction of the data points are represented in each of the graphs. The numbers indicate the number of discernible colors estimated for each scene using the CIEDE2000 color-difference formula, and the numbers in parentheses indicate the number of colors estimated ignoring the lightness dimension. The top picture represents a scene with a number of discernible colors less than the average, the picture in the middle a scene with a number of discernible colors close to the average, and the picture in the bottom a scene with a number of discernible colors larger than the average.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Color gamut represented in the CIELAB ( a * , b * ) diagram corresponding to the colors of the 50 scenes of the database for lightness level L * = 50 (left) and the projection on that diagram of the colors corresponding to L * < 100 (right). For comparison, the optimal colors and the gamut obtained with 4089 samples tabulated by M. Pointer [28] are also represented assuming samples illuminated by CIE standard illuminant C.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

(Left) Distribution of the number of discernible colors for the set of 50 scenes analyzed. Estimates based on the CIEDE2000 formula. The solid curve represents a Gaussian fit to the data. (Right) Total number of discernible colors as a function of the number of scenes considered in the analysis. Data also based on the CIEDE2000 formula. The smooth curve represents an exponential fit to the data.

Tables (1)

Tables Icon

Table 1 Estimates Obtained Using the Color-Difference Formula CIEDE2000: Average Number of Discernible Colors for the Set of 50 Scenes Analyzed and Asymptotic Values Obtained from the Exponential Fits

Metrics