Abstract

SYNOPSIS

Section I. In this section experiments are described in which spectral colors of known wave lengths are allowed to fall on one side of the vertical median line of the right retina, and the reflex enhancement of all parts of the spectrum are measured for the contiguous area on the other side of the retina. It is shown that reflex enhancement of the red, green, and violet colors is produced, but that the predominant enhancement is in the portions of the spectrum complementary to the active color. The six equilibrium colors produce no effect.

When white light and darkness are used instead of colors, enhancement of the whole spectrum results. Darkness on the reflex area diminishes the brightness of the whole spectrum. It was found also that the black interior of the eyepiece of the observing spectrometer had an important effect which must be taken into account. Numerous curves are plotted from the measurements which show the effects obtained with each color.

Section II contains the theoretical discussion of the results, and explanations are offered for colored shadows, for simultaneous color contrast under various conditions, for luminosity contrast, and for successive contrast.

It is shown that the explanation of contrast is physiological and not psychological, though the nature of the visual reflex renders necessary the operation of the visual centres of the brain.

Certain deductions are made regarding the probable non-contrasting peculiarities of equilibrium colors.

© 1923 Optical Society of America

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References

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