Perceiving colour at a glimpse: The relevance of where one fixates

E. Brenner, J.J.M. Granzier, J.B.J. Smeets

    Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


    We used classification images to examine whether certain parts of a surface are particularly important when judging its colour, such as its centre, its edges, or where one is looking. The scene consisted of a regular pattern of square tiles with random colours from along a short line in colour space. Targets defined by a square array of brighter tiles were presented for 200 ms. The colours of the tiles within the target were biased by an amount that led to about 70% of the responses being correct. Subjects fixated a point that fell within the target's lower left quadrant and reported each target's colour. They tended to report the colour of the tiles near the fixation point. The influence of the tiles' colour reversed at the target's border and was weaker outside the target. The colour at the border itself was not particularly important. When coloured tiles were also presented before (and after) target presentation they had an opposite (but weaker) effect, indicating that the change in colour is important. Comparing the influence of tiles outside the target with that of tiles at the position at which the target would soon appear suggests that when judging surface colours during the short "glimpses" between saccades, temporal comparisons can be at least as important as spatial ones. We conclude that eye movements are important for colour vision, both because they determine which part of the surface of interest will be given most weight and because the perceived colour of such a surface also depends on what one looked at last. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2557-2568
    JournalVision Research
    Issue number19
    Publication statusPublished - 2007


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