CUREJ - College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal

Perceptual Distortions

Jennifer M. Klein, University of Pennsylvania

Division: Humanities

Dept/Program: Visual Studies

Document Type: Undergraduate Student Research

Mentor(s): David Brainard

Date of this Version: 01 May 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.



This research project attempts to quantify the subjective quality of color vision that artists like Josef Albers have explored through their art. It is widely understood by artists and scientists that the appearance of a surface color is affected by its context. However, there are many questions yet to be answered about the specific spatial relationships between colors. This experiment uses an achromatic adjustment task to compare the context effect of colors inside and outside of a grid containing a test square. The results show that the color inside the grid has a greater affect on the appearance of the test square than the color outside the grid. This result was found across observers without exception. The idea that colors affect each other more when placed closer together may seem intuitive, but our results serve to confirm this assumption and to set the groundwork for further studies to develop a general theory of color interaction.


Visual Studies

Suggested Citation

Klein, Jennifer M., "Perceptual Distortions" 01 May 2006. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania,

Date Posted: 31 July 2006

This document has been peer reviewed.




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