Little information loss with red-green color deficient vision in natural environments

David Foster, Sérgio M. C. Nascimento

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Inherited color vision deficiency affects red-green discrimination in about one in twelve men from European populations. Its effects have been studied mainly in primitive foraging but also in detecting blushing and breaking camouflage. Yet there is no obvious relationship between these specific tasks and vision in the real world. The aim here was to quantify the impact of color vision deficiency by estimating computationally the information available to observers about colored surfaces in natural scenes. With representative independent sets of 50 and 100 hyperspectral images, estimated information was found to be only a little less in red-green color vision deficiency than in normal trichromacy. Colorimetric analyses revealed the importance of large lightness variations within scenes, small redness-greenness variations, and uneven frequencies of different colored surfaces. While red-green color vision deficiency poses challenges in some tasks, it has much less effect on gaining information from natural environments.
Original languageEnglish
Article number107421
Pages (from-to)107421
Early online date18 Jul 2023
Publication statusPublished - 18 Aug 2023


  • colour vision
  • colour deficiency
  • natural scenes
  • hyperspectral imaging
  • Natural sciences
  • Biological sciences
  • Physics


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