Hering, Karl Ewald Konstantin
Karl Ewald Konstantin Hering was born on August 5, 1834, in Alt-Gersdorf, Saxony, son of a Lutheran pastor and his wife. He studied medicine at the University of Leipzig, obtaining an MD in 1860. For the next five years, he practiced medicine in Leipzig and pursued personal interests in vision on the side, publishing five Beiträge zur Physiologie (Contributions to Physiology) between 1861 and 1864 . He was married in 1863, and he and his wife had a son, Heinrich Ewald, born in 1863. In 1865 he was appointed professor of physiology at the Josephinum Academy in Vienna. In 1870 he became the successor of J. E. Purkinje as professor of physiology at the University of Prague where he remained for 25 years, studying among other things the electrical actions of nerves and muscles, as well as the perception of light and color vision. In 1895 he was invited to join the University of Leipzig where he remained until his retirement in 1915. During his lifetime Hering assumed the role of anti-Helmholtz, scientifically and philosophically battling with him in regard to several subject matters [see, e.g., 2]. Hering died on January 26, 1918, in Leipzig.
Today, the perceptual aspects of Hering’s system continue to be considered essentially valid, with its physiological part having fallen short of reality. Despite many attempts, a psychophysical model of the four hues presumed fundamental and their mixtures that also meet other components of the colorimetric system is still lacking at this time, a major issue being the fact that while mean unique yellow and blue stimuli are essentially complementary, unique green and unique red stimuli are far from it, complicating any model with the purpose of representing a perceptually meaningful and at the same time colorimetrically valid model.
- 1.Hering, E.: Beiträge zur Physiologie. Engelmann, Leipzig (1861)Google Scholar
- 2.Turner, R.S.: In the Eye’s Mind, Vision and the Helmholtz-Hering Controversy. Princeton University Press, Princeton (1994)Google Scholar
- 4.Hering, E.: Zur Lehre vom Lichtsinne. Gerold, Wien (1878). Translation: Outlines of a theory of the light sense. Hurvich, L. M., Jameson, D., trans. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA (1964)Google Scholar
- 5.Scandinavian Colour Institute: Swedish Natural Colour System (NCS)Google Scholar