Abstract

An explanation of the Bezold-Brücke phenomenon is given in the framework of the Young-Helmholtz theory. It is assumed that the responses of the three independent receptor systems gradually increase to an end value with increasing stimulation. The sensitivity curves of the three systems are assumed to be those derived by Pitt. To account for the law of additivity of brightness it is necessary to make a distinction between a brightness information and a chromaticness information channel. The nonlinear relationship between response and stimulation of the several systems has to be applied in the latter channel. For wavelengths at the crossing points of Pitt’s curves no hue change can be expected. This explains the invariable hue at 570 mμ. To account for the invariable hue at 476 mμ it is necessary to assume that the contribution of the blue system to chromaticness, its chromaticness valency, is about 10 times its brightness contribution. The third invariable hue at 508 mμ has to be considered as the hue at which the tendencies of the greens to shift toward yellow and toward blue are in balance. The theory is in accordance with the results of some measurements done in the purple region of the color diagram, where an invariable hue was also found.

© 1961 Optical Society of America

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