Abstract

The elements of vision are brightness and color varying in time and space, constituting a vector space-time function: the visual sensation field. The sensory-field generated from light-field variations on the retina is analyzed here in terms of elemental space-time responses (Green’s functions). Both chromaticity and intensity variations in either time or space are included in a unified theory, to bridge the existing gap between color theory and analyses of spatial and temporal brightness. Sensory Green’s functions are here related to standard color models and to familiar responses for special stimuli, and are shown to be advantageous for nonhomogeneous and/or nonstationary visual conditions. The theory is first applied for intensity space-time variations, to elucidate existing intensity-contrast analyses. Then the general theory including chromatic contrast is illustrated by deriving color vision generalizations of the Bloch and Ricco laws and a general space-time reciprocity law, by analyses of wavelength-pulse and color-flicker experiments, and by derivation of Abney’s law of luminance additivity for heterochrmoatic flicker and minimally distinct borders.

© 1978 Optical Society of America

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