If unique hues have special status in phenomenological experience as perceptually pure, it seems reasonable to assume that they are represented more precisely by the visual system than are other colors. Following the method of Malkoc et al. (J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 22, 2154 ), we gathered unique and binary hue selections from 50 subjects. For these subjects we repeated the measurements in two separate sessions, allowing us to measure test–retest reliabilities (; ). We quantified the within-individual variability for selections of each hue. Adjusting for the differences in variability intrinsic to different regions of chromaticity space, we compared the within-individual variability for unique hues to that for binary hues. Surprisingly, we found that selections of unique hues did not show consistently lower variability than selections of binary hues. We repeated hue measurements in a single session for an independent sample of 58 subjects, using a different relative scaling of the cardinal axes of MacLeod–Boynton chromaticity space. Again, we found no consistent difference in adjusted within-individual variability for selections of unique and binary hues. Our finding does not depend on the particular scaling chosen for the Y axis of MacLeod–Boynton chromaticity space.
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