We used an apparent motion technique to examine the intensity coding along the three cardinal axes of color space: achromatic (L + M + S), L-M cone, and S cone axes. Two horizontal bars of different colors were alternated to produce a vertical displacement. The color of the background was a mixture varied between the colors of the two bars. When the background color was close to either of the test colors, only the bar that was more salient appeared to jump. Observers adjusted the color of the background until they saw either the two bars moved equally frequently or both bars moved at once. If the color difference in a linear cone excitation space controls this apparent motion, the setting should be midway between the two colors. All of the three cardinal axes showed some deviation from linear behavior. The nonlinearity was less extreme than a logarithmic function for both the achromatic and S cone axes and could be attributed to a small compressive nonlinearity, possibly at the level of cone responses. However, the L-M stimuli showed a more extreme departure from linearity, which suggested a nonlinearity at an opponent site. A test of perceived contrast judgments did not show this nonlinearity for L-M axis, suggesting that it is specific to the L-M contribution to apparent motion.