September 2005
Volume 5, Issue 8
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2005
Combining achromatic and chromatic cues to transparency
Author Affiliations
  • Jacqueline M. Fulvio
    Department of Psychology, New York University
  • Manish Singh
    Department of Psychology and Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University
  • Laurence T. Maloney
    Department of Psychology, New York University, and Center for Neural Science, New York University
Journal of Vision September 2005, Vol.5, 566. doi:
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      Jacqueline M. Fulvio, Manish Singh, Laurence T. Maloney; Combining achromatic and chromatic cues to transparency. Journal of Vision 2005;5(8):566. doi:

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Metelli's model has inspired considerable research on achromatic and color transparency. However, the way in which the chromatic and achromatic components of a color display combine to determine percepts of transparency has not been investigated. For instance, do the two components serve as separate ‘cues to transparency’? We used stimulus displays that are the superposition of chromatic and achromatic displays, and examined observers' setting variability in adjusting one part of a display to maximize perceived transparency.

Methods: We presented six-region displays containing a small filter upon a larger background. (Kasrai & Kingdom 2001). The achromatic stimuli varied in luminance, the chromatic stimuli varied along an equiluminant line segment from ‘yellow’ to achromatic (equiluminance measured separately for each observer). A display was consistent if the ratio of luminance or an analogous ratio for color was constant across the edge of the filter region. The stimulus in the L condition is an achromatic display, in the Lc condition, the superposition of the L display with a consistent chromatic display, and in the Li condition, the superposition of the (L) stimulus with an inconsistent chromatic display formed by exchanging two filter regions in the consistent chromatic display. In the Lc condition, the filter edge ratio was identical for the chromatic and achromatic components. Four observers made 135 settings for each of the displays, adjusting one filter region of the display to optimize transparency.

Results: We computed setting variance for each of the three conditions for all four observers separately and compared the variances across conditions. Across observers, Lc settings were less variable than Li settings. For three observers, Lc settings were less variable than L settings.

Color enhances the precision of perceived transparency when it is consistent with transparency.

Fulvio, J. M. Singh, M. Maloney, L. T. (2005). Combining achromatic and chromatic cues to transparency [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 5(8):566, 566a,, doi:10.1167/5.8.566. [CrossRef]
 NSF BCS-0216944; NIH EY08266

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