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Illumination, background luminance, and perceptual learning in perception of achromatic colors.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Perceptual and motor skills
Publication Date
Volume
112
Issue
3
Pages
691–702
Identifiers
PMID: 21853758
Source
Medline

Abstract

Plateau's experiment, in which the bisection method was introduced, is recognized as the first psychophysical experiment ever done. That experiment was replicated and extended using modem imaging devices. First, participants with professional training in visual arts painted grayscales with no control on illumination. Then, the trained participants and the nontrained participants generated grayscales using a personal computer in three different conditions: a white background of a linearized monitor, a black background of that monitor, and a white background but without linearizing the monitor. Analyses showed that with artificial illumination, scales with steps more evenly spread were produced than with natural illumination. Humans do not seem to have a natural ability to use the bisection method properly. Experts seem to be able to judge the reflectance of distal stimuli, and perceptual learning played an important role in the perception of achromatic colors as found in prior literature.

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