Visual Neuroscience


International Colour Vision Society 2003 Symposium

Flashing anomalous color contrast


BAINGIO  PINNA  a1 a2 , LOTHAR  SPILLMANN  a1 and JOHN S.  WERNER  a1 a3 c1
a1 Universität Freiburg, AG Hirnforschung, Freiburg, Germany
a2 Università di Sassari, Facoltà di Lingue e Letterature Straniere, Sassari, Italy
a3 Department of Ophthalmology and Section of Neurobiology, Physiology & Behavior, University of California, Davis, Sacramento

Article author query
pinna b   [Google Scholar] 
spillmann l   [Google Scholar] 
werner js   [Google Scholar] 
 

Abstract

A new visual phenomenon that we call flashing anomalous color contrast is described. This phenomenon arises from the interaction between a gray central disk and a chromatic annulus surrounded by black radial lines. In an array of such figures, the central gray disk no longer appears gray, but assumes a color complementary to that of the surrounding annulus. The induced color appears: (1) vivid and saturated; (2) self-luminous, not a surface property; (3) flashing with eye or stimulus movement; (4) floating out of its confines; and (5) stronger in extrafoveal than in foveal vision. The strength of the effect depends on the number, length, width, and luminance contrast of the radial lines. The results suggest that the chromatic ring bounding the inner tips of the black radial lines induces simultaneous color contrast, whereas the radial lines elicit, in conjunction with the gray disk and the ring, the flashing, vividness, and high saturation of the effect. The stimulus properties inducing the illusion suggest that flashing anomalous color contrast may be based on asynchronous interactions among multiple visual pathways.

(Received September 7 2003)
(Accepted December 17 2003)


Key Words: Simultaneous color contrast; Ehrenstein illusion; Brightness induction; Scintillating luster; Parvo-pathway; Magno-pathway; Konio-pathway.

Correspondence:
c1 Address correspondence and reprint requests to: John S. Werner, Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, Davis, 4860 Y Street, Suite 2400, Sacramento, CA 95817, USA. E-mail: jswerner@ucdavis.edu