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A. E. Boehm, D. I. A. MacLeod, J. M. Bosten; Compensation for red-green contrast loss in anomalous trichromats. Journal of Vision 2014;14(13):19. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/14.13.19.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
For anomalous trichromats, threshold contrasts for color differences captured by the L and M cones and their anomalous analogs are much higher than for normal trichromats. The greater spectral overlap of the cone sensitivities reduces chromatic contrast both at and above threshold. But above threshold, adaptively nonlinear processing might compensate for the chromatically impoverished photoreceptor inputs. Ratios of sensitivity for threshold variations and for color appearance along the two cardinal axes of MacLeod-Boynton chromaticity space were calculated for three groups: normals (N = 15), deuteranomals (N = 9), and protanomals (N = 5). Using a four-alternative forced choice (4AFC) task, threshold sensitivity was measured in four color-directions along the two cardinal axes. For the same participants, we reconstructed perceptual color spaces for the positions of 25 hues using multidimensional scaling (MDS). From the reconstructed color spaces we extracted “color difference ratios,” defined as ratios for the size of perceived color differences along the L/(L + M) axis relative to those along the S/(L + M) axis, analogous to “sensitivity ratios” extracted from the 4AFC task. In the 4AFC task, sensitivity ratios were 38% of normal for deuteranomals and 19% of normal for protanomals. Yet, in the MDS results, color difference ratios were 86% of normal for deuteranomals and 67% of normal for protanomals. Thus, the contraction along the L/(L + M) axis shown in the perceptual color spaces of anomalous trichromats is far smaller than predicted by their reduced sensitivity, suggesting that an adaptive adjustment of postreceptoral gain may magnify the cone signals of anomalous trichromats to exploit the range of available postreceptoral neural signals.
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