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Perception of saturation in natural objects.

Hedjar, L., Toscani, M. and Gegenfurtner, K. R., 2023. Perception of saturation in natural objects. Journal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision, 40 (3), A190-A198.

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josaa-40-3-a190.pdf - Published Version


DOI: 10.1364/JOSAA.476874


The distribution of colors across a surface depends on the interaction between its surface properties, its shape, and the lighting environment. Shading, chroma, and lightness are positively correlated: points on the object that have high luminance also have high chroma. Saturation, typically defined as the ratio of chroma to lightness, is therefore relatively constant across an object. Here we explored to what extent this relationship affects perceived saturation of an object. Using images of hyperspectral fruit and rendered matte objects, we manipulated the lightness–chroma correlation (positive or negative) and asked observers which of two objects appeared more saturated. Despite the negative-correlation stimulus having greater mean and maximum chroma, lightness, and saturation than the positive, observers overwhelmingly chose the positive as more saturated. This suggests that simple colorimetric statistics do not accurately represent perceived saturation of objects—observers likely base their judgments on interpretations about the cause of the color distribution.

Item Type:Article
Group:Faculty of Science & Technology
ID Code:38466
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:20 Apr 2023 11:33
Last Modified:20 Apr 2023 11:33


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