Abstract

Tests of additivity of the postreceptoral pathways that mediate the perception of blackness were conducted under conditions of spatial contrast. Observers increased the radiance of a surrounding annulus until a broadband (white) test center appeared completely black. Additivity tests with heterochromatic flicker photometry (HFP) and direct brightness matching were also conducted for each observer. The results indicated that the luminance level of the annulus required to induce blackness did not change with variations in spectral composition. Results consistent with additivity were also obtained for HFP, but the results from brightness matching were not consistent with additivity. The data support the view that the perception of blackness is mediated by neural mechanisms that additively combine the input of middle- and long-wave photoreceptors.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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