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Andrew Stockman, G. Bruce Henning, Peter West, Andrew T. Rider, Caterina Ripamonti; Hue shifts produced by temporal asymmetries in chromatic signals depend on the alignment of the first and second harmonics. Journal of Vision 2017;17(9):3. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.9.3.
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When M- or L-cone-isolating sawtooth waveforms flicker at frequencies between 4 and 13.3 Hz, there is a mean hue shift in the direction of the shallower sawtooth slope. Here, we investigate how this shift depends on the alignment of the first and second harmonics of sawtooth-like waveforms. Below 4 Hz, observers can follow hue variations caused by both harmonics, and reliably match reddish and greenish excursions. At higher frequencies, however, the hue variations appear as chromatic flicker superimposed on a steady light, the mean hue of which varies with second-harmonic alignment. Observers can match this mean hue against a variable-duty-cycle rectangular waveform and, separately, set the alignment at which the mean hue flips between reddish and greenish. The maximum hue shifts were approximately frequency independent and occurred when the peaks or troughs of the first and second harmonics roughly aligned at the visual input—consistent with the hue shift's being caused by an early instantaneous nonlinearity that saturates larger hue excursions. These predictions, however, ignore phase delays introduced within the chromatic pathway between its input and the nonlinearity that produces the hue shifts. If the nonlinearity follows the substantial filtering implied by the chromatic temporal contrast-sensitivity function, phase delays will alter the alignment of the first and second harmonics such that at the nonlinearity, the waveforms that produce the maximum hue shifts might well be those with the largest differences in rising and falling slopes—consistent with the hue shift's being caused by a central nonlinearity that limits the rate of hue change.
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