Color Discrimination Characteristics Depending on the Background Color in the (L, M) Plane of a Cone Space

Ken Ichiro Kawamoto, Taisuke Inamura, Hirohisa Yaguchi, Satoshi Shioiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated color discriminability on the background color. The measurement was carried out at over 21 background colors in (L, M) plane of a cone space by four observers. We used low temporal stimulus frequency (1 Hz) so that threshold was determined by the red-green opponent mechanism. Results showed that color discriminability depends on the background colors. Threshold was higher with a more saturated background color. This suggests that the sensitivity of the red-green opponent mechanism is high when the mechanism's output is small and increases with the output levels of the mechanism. To confirm this relationship between the red-green mechanism and color discriminability, color appearance depending the background color was also evaluated. There was a strong correlation between the sensitivity and the perceived whiteness. Both sensitivity and whiteness value were highest at around the equal energy white point and decreased with increase in the difference between background color and equal energy white. This suggests that the adaptation state of the red-green opponent color controls color discrimination.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-397
Number of pages7
JournalOptical Review
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2003 Jan 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Background color adaptation
  • Color appearance
  • Color discrimination threshold
  • Red-green opponent mechanism
  • Whiteness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


Dive into the research topics of 'Color Discrimination Characteristics Depending on the Background Color in the (L, M) Plane of a Cone Space'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this