Evoked Potentials to Changes in the Chromatic Contrast and Luminance Contrast of Checkerboard Stimulus Patterns

  • D. Regan
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 24)


Many of the classical psychophysical studies of colour vision (and especially the experiments which established a foundation for the measurement of colour) were matching experiments (Maxwell, 1860; Abney, 1903; König, 1903). In these early studies the subject looked at a patch of light which was sharply divided down the middle (Wright, 1928, 1946; Guild, 1931). In some experiments his task was to adjust the brightnesses of the two halves of the stimulus until they appeared equal; in other experiments he adjusted the wavelengths of the two halves of the stimulus until he could just distinguish a difference between the hues of the left and right side of the stimulus. It has been well known to experimenters for at least 40 years that an over-enthusiastic subject could generate almost as many problems as a subject whose mind was not engaged with psychophysical considerations. McCree, working in W.D. Wright’s laboratory, carried out a study of this curious phenomenon (McCree, 1960). By voluntarily attempting to suppress eye movements by fixating as steadily as possible, many subjects were able to grossly degrade their power to distinguish between lights of different wavelengths. Both McCree and the present author turned out to be particularly susceptible to this effect of steady voluntary fixation. These two subjects were able to degrade very markedly their ability to distinguish between the hues of stimuli located as far apart as red and blue.


Spectral Sensitivity Retinal Image Modulation Depth Colour Vision Checkerboard Pattern 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1972

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Regan
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationUniversity of KeeleEngland

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