Abstract

Observer production of achromatic appearance has previously been used to measure the time course of chromatic adaptation for changes from daylight to incandescent illuminants at constant luminance, indicating an exponential decay of chromatic adaptation with a time constant of the order of 10 s. The work extends previous results in several ways. The psychophysical technique was significantly improved to provide more reliable estimates of color appearance as a function of adaptation duration, and the time course of chromatic adaptation was measured for six chromaticity changes. Three observers tracked achromatic appearance on a computer-controlled CRT display during transitions of 2-min duration between the various chromaticities. The results indicate that observer differences are statistically significant. However, differences in time course for different chromaticity changes are not statistically significant (within observer). Single or piecewise exponential decay functions cannot be fitted to the data. However, sum-of-two-exponentials functions provided accurate descriptions of the data. The results suggest two stages of adaptation: one extremely rapid (a few seconds) and the other somewhat slower (approximately 1 min). Chromatic adaptation at constant luminance was 90% complete after approximately 60 s.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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