Spectral responsivity of the white–black channel

Kenneth Fuld, Timothy A. Otto, Carolyn W. Slade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Three subjects viewed, foveally and monocularly, a monochromatic test field of 0.6-deg diameter that was surrounded by a white annulus of 0.6-deg inner diameter and 4.5-deg outer diameter. The wavelength of the central test field was varied in steps of 10 nm from 440 to 640 nm, and its luminance was set to 100 Td. Center and surround were flashed together for 2 sec every 4 sec. The subjects adjusted the luminance of the surround so that the central field was perceived as having equal amounts of whiteness and blackness. The luminance of the surround required for this balance point varied with the wavelength of the test field in a manner that closely resembled a heterochromatic brightness matching function obtained under similar conditions. Control experiments ruled out the possibility that the subjects were making brightness matches between center and surround fields. Additional evidence was provided suggesting that the spectral responsivity of the putative white–black channel is best represented by a photopic spectral sensitivity curve based on equal brightness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1182-1188
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America A: Optics and Image Science, and Vision
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 1986
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition


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