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Jamie K. Opper, Vicki J. Volbrecht; Binocular and Monocular Color Perception. Journal of Vision 2016;16(4):23. doi: 10.1167/16.4.15.
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© 2017 Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.
Historically, color perception research has been conducted monocularly; however, under normal conditions, humans primarily view objects with both eyes, which means that the retinal image of a stimulus viewed peripherally along the horizontal meridian falls on the temporal portion of one eye and the nasal portion of the other. Given that previous research has shown differences in monocular color perception for the nasal versus the temporal retinas, we used a “4 + 1” hue-naming procedure to investigate the relative contribution of the individual retinas to binocular color perception, both in the fovea and approximately 10° along the horizontal meridian, for stimuli varying in size from 1.0° to 3.7°. We found that peripheral binocular color perception more closely resembled monocular color perception in the temporal retina, particularly for green. Observers also reported that smaller middle-wavelength stimuli presented to the nasal retina were less saturated than similar stimuli presented to the temporal retina. Additionally, the percentage of perceived green was greater for short-wavelength stimuli viewed monocularly and binocularly in the peripheral retina than for stimuli in the fovea. Perhaps most surprisingly, observers reported that short-wavelength stimuli viewed binocularly in the fovea appeared to have a greater blue component than stimuli in the binocular peripheral conditions. Taken together, these results indicate that binocular color perception differs from monocular color perception, and that, rather than averaging across the two eyes, the temporal retina appears to dominate our color perception.
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