October 2020
Volume 20, Issue 11
Open Access
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   October 2020
Equilibrium temporal dynamics of neon color spreading
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jingyi He
    Department of Psychology, College of Science, Northeastern University, Boston MA 02115
  • Yesenia Taveras Cruz
    Department of Psychology, College of Science, Northeastern University, Boston MA 02115
  • Ennio Mingolla
    Communication Sciences and Disorders, Bouve College of Health Sciences, Northeastern University, Boston MA 02115
  • Rhea T. Eskew, Jr.
    Department of Psychology, College of Science, Northeastern University, Boston MA 02115
  • Footnotes
    Acknowledgements  This work was supported by NSF BCS-1921771.
Journal of Vision October 2020, Vol.20, 756. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.756
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      Jingyi He, Yesenia Taveras Cruz, Ennio Mingolla, Rhea T. Eskew, Jr.; Equilibrium temporal dynamics of neon color spreading. Journal of Vision 2020;20(11):756. https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.11.756.

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

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The neon color illusion reveals fundamental properties of the human visual system (Van Tuijl, 1975; Varin, 1971), as perceptual filling-in of color is thought to underlie surface completion and object recognition. Although spatial factors of neon color spreading have been extensively studied, limited research has characterized its temporal dynamics. We measured the temporal modulation transfer function (MTF) of neon color spreading. Two practiced observers with normal color vision and corrected acuity completed threshold measurements for detection of flicker for crosses (real color) and neon spreading (illusory color) in the same display. Five reference crosses and five test crosses were presented on an 8×8 black grid (2.24×2.24 deg), with the test crosses forming two chevrons pointing left and right. Each test cross was at an eccentricity of about 0.66 deg. The test crosses in the display sinusoidally flickered either between complementary red and blue (bipolar flicker), or between red and grey (unipolar flicker), and the color of the reference crosses was fixed at mid-chromaticity of the test colors. Sensitivity was measured for temporal frequencies from 0.5 Hz to 10 Hz or higher for both color conditions (unipolar and bipolar) and both tasks (judging real and illusory colors). All MTF curves for flickering crosses have higher sensitivities than the neon color MTFs at all frequencies, and nearly all MTFs have a clearly band-pass shape. For each observer the MTF for the unipolar and bipolar conditions are different in shape, suggesting possible differences in dynamics of responses to the red and blue lobes of the bipolar flicker.


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