Journal article

Effects of Motion and Configural Complexity on Color Transparency Perception

We tested whether motion and configural complexity affect perceived transparency. A series of five coherent chromatic transformations in color space was applied across a figure: translation, convergence, shear, divergence and rotation. The stimuli consisted of a bipartite or a checkerboard configuration (10x10 deg), with a central static or moving overlay (5x5 deg). Three different luminance conditions (the plane of chromatic transformation oriented toward higher, lower or equal luminances) were also tested for each of three modulation depths. For each stimulus, the observer judged whether the overlay appeared transparent or not. The main results indicated an interaction between the type of chromatic transformation and stimulus motion and complexity. For example, convergences are judged to appear transparent significantly more often when motion is added for bipartite configurations, or when they are generated in a checkerboard configuration. Surprisingly, shears which have been reported to appear opaque, are more frequently reported to appear transparent with short vector lengths and when combined with motion. Other transformations are also affected by motion, although the effectiveness of figural complexity on transparency seems to depend on both the type of color shifts and the presence of motion. The results indicate that adding motion and stimulus complexity are not necessarily neutral with respect to the chromatic shifts evoking transparency. Thus, studies that have used motion to enhance transparency may yield different results about the color shifts supporting transparency perception from those that did not. The same might be supposed for stimulus complexity under some conditions.

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