Abstract

We examined individual differences in the color appearance of nonspectral lights and asked how they might be related to individual differences in sensitivity to chromatic stimuli. Observers set unique hues for moderately saturated equiluminant stimuli by varying their hue angle within a plane defined by the LvsM and SvsLM cone-opponent axes that are thought to characterize early postreceptoral color coding. Unique red settings were close to the +L pole of the LvsM axis, while green, blue, and yellow settings clustered along directions intermediate to the LvsM and SvsLM axes and thus corresponded to particular ratios of LvsM to SvsLM activity. Interobserver differences in the unique hues were substantial. However, no relationship was found between hue settings and relative sensitivity to the LvsM and SvsLM axes. Moreover, interobserver variations in different unique hues were uncorrelated and were thus inconsistent with a common underlying factor such as relative sensitivity or changes in the spectral sensitivities of the cones. Thus for the moderately saturated lights we tested, the unique hues appear largely unconstrained by normal individual differences in the cone-opponent axes. In turn, this suggests that the perceived hue for these stimuli does not depend on fixed (common) physiological weightings of the cone-opponent axes or on fixed (common) color signals in the environment.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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