Encyclopedia of Color Science and Technology

Living Edition
| Editors: Ronnier Luo

Fechner’s Colors and Behnam’s Top

  • John H. Krantz
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27851-8_65-2



Fechner colors refer to the illusory colors that result from the repeated flashing of black and white patterns. These colors are often referred to as Fechner colors after their discoverer. Behnam’s top is a pattern of spinning patterns developed for a spinning disk to create these illusory colors that have become a standard.

Basic Phenomenon and History

Fechner colors refer to the creation of illusory or subjective colors through an alternating pattern of black and white stimulus. Fechner reported the discovery of this illusion in an 1838 paper, and his name has been given to these illusory colors. The discovery was accidental as Fechner at the time was involved in the creation of disks to create different shades of gray [ 1]. From the beginning, a spinning disk was the means for creating these illusory colors. There were several studies throughout the...


Color Chip Color Match Color Opponent Flicker Rate Subjective Color 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Natural Sciences, Department of PsychologyHanover CollegeHanoverUSA