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Minjie Xu, Jinhui Yuan, Bo Zhang; Why Does von Kries Law Hold?. Journal of Vision 2010;10(7):400. doi: 10.1167/10.7.400.
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von Kries law (1878) states that color adapation might be described by multiplicative gain controls within each class of cone receptor independently. This assumption has been widely used in various theories explaining color constancy phenomena under illuminant changes ever since Ives (1912). Several recent experimental work provide evidences supporting the idea that von Kries law indeed holds. One prominent example is the invariance of cone-excitation ratios observed by Foster and his colleagues (1994). Though it is widely accepted now, little work has been done to understand why von Kries law holds. Gerhard West and Michael H. Brill (1982) have stuided the necessary and sufficient conditions for von Kries chromatic adaptation. Their conclusion characterized the properties of illuminannt and surface reflectance spectral power distributions under fixed human cone sensitivity curve. However, it is more likely that the cone sensitivity curves evolve in the eviromental statistics such as illuminant and surface reflectance spectral distribution. James Dannemiller (1993) attributed von Kries law to the fact that approx. 95% the variance in these reflectance spectra is captured by the first principal component. However, we find that this might not be the case for sufrace reflectance spectral data set other than Krinov (1947). Combining experimental simulation and theoretical analsysis, we find that the shape of cone sensitivities curves might be the major cause of von Kries law. In addition, our findings might provide a novel view for explaining why the cone sensitivity curves are as they are.
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