Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

2016 Edition
| Editors: Ming Ronnier Luo

Chromatic Contrast Sensitivity

  • Christoph Witzel
  • Karl Gegenfurtner
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-8071-7_17


Chromatic contrast refers to the occurrence of differences in chromaticity (saturated, hue-full color) in a visual percept (scene, image, stimulus). It may consist in differences across space (spatial chromatic contrast) or in changes of chromaticity across time (temporal chromatic contrast). The term chromatic contrast is used in opposition to achromatic contrast, where differences only occur in luminance (gray level). For example, whereas a black-and-white photo only contains achromatic contrasts, a color photo also contains chromatic contrast. While chromatic and color contrast refer to the same visual phenomenon, the term “chromatic contrast” emphasizes research on chromatic contrast sensitivity.

Conceptual Clarifications

Almost every phenomenon in color vision involves contrasts between colors. This is particularly true since colors are not perceived absolutely, but relative to other colors. In fact, contrasts between colors affect the appearance of the single colors....

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyGiessen UniversityGiessenGermany