chromatic adaptation

here’s a quick experiment i got from the web:

look first at the image of the airplane, and fix your gaze right on the dot. you’ll notice immediately that the lighter portions on the left half of the plane have a definite bluish cast, while those on the right half of the plane have a definite yellowish cast. so far, so good. now you are going to use the top half of the figure to adapt your visual system. fix your gaze on the dot between the blue and yellow rectangles for 20 seconds. it’s OK to blink normally, but keep your gaze fixed on the dot while your eyes are open. after 20 seconds, shift your gaze to the dot in the airplane image. if you keep your eyes trained on the dot while examining the picture, you will notice that now the lighter portions of the plane now look the same in both halves of the picture. as you continue to look at the plane, you may notice the color differences reappearing.

now you see it, now you don’t!

chromatic adaptation is one aspect of vision that may fool someone into observing a color-based optical illusion. though the human visual system generally does maintain constant perceived color under different lighting, wherein there are situations where the brightness of a stimulus will appear reversed relative to its background.


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