Abstract

Chromatically perceptive observers are endowed with a sense of similarity between colors. For example, two shades of green that are only slightly discriminable are perceived as similar, whereas other pairs of colors, for example, blue and yellow, typically elicit markedly different sensations. The notion of similarity need not be shared by different observers. Dichromat and trichromat subjects perceive colors differently, and two dichromats (or two trichromats, for that matter) may judge chromatic differences inconsistently. Moreover, there is ample evidence that different animal species sense colors diversely. To capture the subjective metric of color perception, here we construct a notion of distance in color space based on the physiology of the retina, and is thereby individually tailored for different observers. By applying the Fisher metric to an analytical model of color representation, we construct a notion of distance that reproduces behavioral experiments of classical discrimination tasks. We then derive a coordinate transformation that defines a new chromatic space in which the Euclidean distance between any two colors is equal to the perceptual distance, as seen by one individual subject, endowed with an arbitrary number of color-sensitive photoreceptors, each with arbitrary absorption probability curves and appearing in arbitrary proportions.

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