Spatial profile of contours inducing long-range color assimilation

Frédéric Devinck, Lothar Spillmann, John S Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Color induction was measured using a matching method for two spatial patterns, each composed of double contours. In one pattern (the standard), the contours had sharp edges to induce the Watercolor Effect (WCE); in the other, the two contours had a spatial taper so that the overall profile produced a sawtooth edge, or ramped stimulus. These patterns were chosen based on our previous study demonstrating that the strength of the chromatic WCE depends on a luminance difference between the two contours. Low-pass chromatic mechanisms, unlike bandpass luminance mechanisms, may be expected to be insensitive to the difference between the two spatial profiles. The strength of the watercolor spreading was similar for the two patterns at narrow widths of the contour possibly because of chromatic aberration, but with wider contours, the standard stimulus produced stronger assimilation than the ramped stimulus. This research suggests that luminance-dependent chromatic mechanisms mediate the WCE and that these mechanisms are sensitive to differences in the two spatial profiles of the pattern contours only when they are wide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)573-577
Number of pages5
JournalVisual Neuroscience
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - May 2006


  • Assimilation
  • Long-range interaction
  • Watercolor effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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