Considerable work has been conducted regarding the perceptibility of color differences for simple images such as uniform color patches. From this work comes such tools as the MacAdam ellipses. Less is known regarding color difference perceptibility when complex images are involved. However, the proliferation of desktop publishing equipment and the increasingly technically elegant accompanying software makes questions around this topic both more facile and more relevant to study. The information that could be gleaned may be useful for the design of color printer algorithms or other imaging systems. The objective of this research was to examine the impact of image content, if any, on the perceptibility of color differences. Psychophysical experimentation was conducted to determine if image content is a significant factor in color difference perceptibility. Portraits and nature scenes containing "memory colors" or colors for which observers have some preconceptions, images of man-made objects void of memory colors, and mosaic images containing no recognizable image content were examined in the experimentation. Four different mosaic images, each composed of patches of a given size, were also included to investigate the effect of the size of image elements making up the image content on color difference perceptibility. The experimental results suggest that the size of elements contained in the image affected the perceptibility of color differences while the presence of memory colors or recognizable image content had no conclusive effect.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Color vision--Research; Estimation theory; Probits; Biomathematics
Department, Program, or Center
Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)
Farnand, Susan, "The Effect of image content on color difference perceptibility" (1995). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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