September 2015
Volume 15, Issue 12
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2015
Measuring saturation
Author Affiliations
  • Florian Schiller
    Department of Psychology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
  • Matteo Valsecchi
    Department of Psychology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
  • Karl Gegenfurtner
    Department of Psychology, Justus-Liebig-University Giessen
Journal of Vision September 2015, Vol.15, 1318. doi:
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      Florian Schiller, Matteo Valsecchi, Karl Gegenfurtner; Measuring saturation. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):1318.

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

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For most color spaces, there is a measure for the saturation of a color. Most of these measures are not ordinally equivalent and they are mainly based on color discrimination experiments. It is unclear how well they correspond to human supra-threshold perception of saturation. We chose ten color comparison directions and three standard colors at a fixed luminance of 30 cd/m2. In each trial, two color patches were shown for 750 ms on a color calibrated monitor. One patch always had the color of one of the three standard colors while the color of the other patch was sampled by means of an adaptive algorithm from one of the ten comparison directions. Participants were asked to decide which of the two colors was more saturated by pressing one of two buttons. Background luminance was 10 cd/m2. We computed the point of subjective equality (PSE) for each of the standards in all of the ten color directions. We compared these PSEs to those predicted by different saturation measures defined in the CIECAM02, HSV, DKL, LAB, LUV, and CIE 1931 xyY color spaces. The measures differ in their ability to predict human perception of saturation, with LUV and LAB being closest to the observers' judgments and just above the best level allowed for by the inter-observer consistency. The measures defined in CIE xyY and HSV performed worst. The various measures of saturation differ in how well they capture human perception of saturation. For a constant level of luminance, human perception of saturation can best be described by the measures defined in LUV and LAB color space.

Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015


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