Generalised Chromaticity Diagrams for Animals with n-chromatic Colour Vision
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Chromaticity diagrams for tri- and tetrachromatic animals (with three and four cone classes in their retina, respectively, contributing to colour perception) are widely used in studies of animal colour vision. These diagrams not only allow the graphical representation of perceived colours, but the coordinates of colours plotted within these diagrams can be used to extract colour metrics, such as hue and chroma, or can be used directly in statistical analyses, and therefore aid our understanding of vision-mediated behaviour. However, many invertebrate species have more than four cone classes in their retina, and may therefore have pentachromatic or hexachromatic (or greater) vision. This paper describes an extension to the triangular and tetrahedral chromaticity diagrams commonly used for tri- and tetrachromats, respectively, that allows colour coordinates (and hence colour metrics) to be calculated for animals with more than four cone classes. Because the resulting chromaticity diagrams have more than three dimensions, meaningful ways to visualise the spatial position of plotted colours are discussed.
KeywordsChromaticity diagram visual ecology pentachromat hexachromat
This work was supported by a Natural Environment Research Council fellowship (NE/F016514/1).
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