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Confused about human sensitivity to color

  1. Oct 15, 2013 #1
    I am trying to design an optimal colormap for display interval data.

    I would like to create a scale that is linear in perceived luminance while adding a hue component to help mitigate the simultaneous contrast effect. However, I am confused on what hue to pick.

    The longest curved path I get through CIELAB space that is still in the sRGB gamut is with hue=325 degrees -- that gives me a path where the chroma is maximized. On the other hand, several different sources tell me that the human eye is most sensitive to yellow-green (http://deron.meranda.us/ruminations/purple/ http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/light/u12l2b.cfm) or magenta (http://www.atmos.ucla.edu/~fovell/AS3/theory_of_color.html [Broken]). What is actually the correct transfer function?

    Additionally, Pizer and Zimmerman in "Color display for ultrasoundography" say the human visual system is most sensitive to luminance changes in orange-yellow hues but humans are most sensitive to hue changes in magenta, but they list no sources.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 16, 2013 #2


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    I can't really help you, but I do know that John Barbur at City University in London was actively researching in this area around ten years ago. That might be a name to start searches in the literature. I recall that he used a green-on-nicotine-yellow colour scheme in his PowerPoint slides, which looked horrendous but was definitely easy to read. :D
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