Journal of Comparative Physiology A

, Volume 186, Issue 9, pp 885–896

Color constancy in goldfish: the limits

  • Saskia Dörr
  • Christa Neumeyer
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s003590000141

Cite this article as:
Dörr, S. & Neumeyer, C. J Comp Physiol A (2000) 186: 885. doi:10.1007/s003590000141


Color constancy was investigated in behavioral training experiments on colors ranging from blue to yellow, located in the color space close to Planck's locus representing the main changes in natural skylight. Two individual goldfish were trained to peck at a test field of medium hue out of a series of 13–15 yellowish and bluish test fields presented simultaneously on a black background. During training the tank in which the fish were swimming freely was illuminated with white light. Correct choices were rewarded with food. During the tests differently saturated yellow or blue illumination was used. The degree of color constancy was inferred from the choice behavior under these illuminations. Perfect color constancy was found up to a certain degree of saturation of the colored light. Beyond this level test fields other than the training test field were chosen, indicating imperfect color constancy. Color constancy was quantified by applying color metrics on the basis of the goldfish cone sensitivity functions.

Color vision Color constancy Goldfish, Carassius auratus 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saskia Dörr
    • 1
  • Christa Neumeyer
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für Zoologie III, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, 55099 Mainz, Germany