Color appearance: Neutral surrounds and spatial contrast

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The experimental data in this paper show that chromatic bars presented in alternation with equiluminant neutral-appearing bars are seen as more saturated than the same chromaticity presented as a uniform rectangle. This effect was diminished but not eliminated when test and match stimuli were presented within a slightly dimmer neutral surround. The test stimulus was a 2 x 5°rectangle with a 0.7 cpd square wave grating composed of alternating equiluminant chromatic test bars and neutral bars. Asymmetric matching was used to match the test bar appearance to a uniform 2 x 5°comparison rectangle. Test and comparison stimuli were presented to separate eyes in a haploscope and appeared flanking a central fixation target. Data were collected with test and inducing stimuli on the cardinal axes of color space. Test bars separated by neutral bars appeared more saturated than the comparison rectangle for both the l-and s-axis directions. Manipulation of excitation on one cardinal axis did not affect the appearance matches made for the other cardinal axis.

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Smith, V. C., Jin, Q., & Pokorny, J. (1998). Color appearance: Neutral surrounds and spatial contrast. In Vision Research (Vol. 38, pp. 3265–3269).

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