Abstract

The average of a color distribution has special significance for color coding (e.g., to estimate the illuminant) but how it depends on the visual representation (e.g., perceptual versus cone-opponent) or nonlinearities (e.g., categorical coding) is unknown. We measured the perceived average of two colors shown alternated in spatial arrays. Observers adjusted the components until the average equaled a specified reference hue. Matches for red, blue–red, or yellow–green were consistent with the arithmetic mean chromaticity, while blue–green settings deviated toward blue. The settings show little evidence for categorical coding, and cannot be predicted from the scaled appearances of the individual components.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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