Clinical color-vision tests are evaluated within the framework of a model of chromatic discrimination in terms of cone excitation. The motivation for this study was to derive a method for evaluation of test design, test sensitivity, and observer performance. The discrimination model is based on the assumption that chromatic discrimination is mediated in two independent channels, one for short-wavelength cones and one for long- and middle-wavelength cones. Luminance-dependent templates are derived for each channel, and they describe chromatic-discrimination behavior of the young color-normal observer. The templates incorporate receptor-and opponent-level gain controls. We show how the chromaticities of clinical tests can be calculated in cone-excitation units and how discrimination behavior on the tests can be plotted on the templates. The tests include the Farnsworth–Munsell 100-hue, the Farnsworth Panel D-15, the Farnsworth Panel D-15 desaturated, the American Optical Hardy–Rand–Rittler, the Farnsworth F2 plate, the Standard Pseudoisochromatic Plates, Part II, the Ishihara, and the Minimalist tests. Clinical-test data collected on young color-normal observers at different illumination levels show the validity of the techniques.
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