Color Appearance

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


    This chapter deals with the complex combination of processes in human vision that give rise to color appearance. First, the physical and sensory constraints on specifying the color of a stimulus are described, and then the critical role of context in determining color appearance is explained. This is followed by an analysis of the phenomenon of color constancy and its relationship to the problem of visually separating the spectral properties of reflecting surfaces from those of the illumination. A variety of sensory and perceptual cues to the color of a surface are then identified, after which the major experimental methods of measuring surface-color perception are analyzed and the corresponding levels of color constancy quantified. Color appearance in natural scenes is then described, particularly in relation to the tasks of discriminating and identifying natural surfaces. Finally, some possible physiological mechanisms underlying color-appearance judgments are considered in relation to normal and color-deficient vision. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationThe Senses: A Comprehensive Reference|The Senses: A Compr. Ref.
    Place of PublicationSan Diego
    PublisherElsevier BV
    Number of pages13
    Publication statusPublished - 2010


    • Chromatic adaptation
    • CIELAB color space
    • Color appearance
    • Color constancy
    • Color contrast
    • Color difference
    • Color matching
    • Color naming
    • Hue
    • Inherited color-vision deficiency
    • Lightness
    • Metamerism
    • Natural scenes
    • Saturation
    • Spatial cone-excitation ratios


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