Spectral statistics in natural scenes predict hue, saturation, and brightness.
The perceptual color qualities of hue, saturation, and brightness do not correspond in any simple way to the physical characteristics of retinal stimuli, a fact that poses a major obstacle for any explanation of color vision. Here we test the hypothesis that these basic color attributes are determined by the statistical covariations in the spectral stimuli that humans have always experienced in typical visual environments. Using a database of 1,600 natural images, we analyzed the joint probability distributions of the physical variables most relevant to each of these perceptual qualities. The cumulative density functions derived from these distributions predict the major colorimetric functions that have been reported in psychophysical experiments over the last century.
Long, F; Yang, Z; Purves, D
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