Chromatic and achromatic vision: Parameter choice and limitations for reliable model predictions

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Many animals use vision to detect, discriminate, or recognize important objects such as prey, predators, homes, or mates. These objects may differ in color and brightness-having chromatic and achromatic contrast to the background or to other objects. Visual models are powerful tools to investigate contrast detection, but need to be calibrated by experimental data to provide robust predictions. The most critical parameter of current models-receptor noise-is usually estimated from a small number of behavioral tests on chromatic contrast thresholds, while equivalent tests of achromatic thresholds in a wide range of animals have often been ignored. We suggest that both chromatic and achromatic contrasts in studies of visual ecology should be examined using calibrated model parameters, and we provide a compilation of what is currently known on visual thresholds and corresponding noise estimates. Besides the need for careful parameter estimation, we discuss how the robustness of model predictions depends on assumptions about overall light intensity, background color and brightness, object size, and behavioral context.

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Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Behavioral Sciences Biology

Keywords

  • achromatic contrast sensitivity, color contrast, intensity contrast, visual modeling, Weber fraction
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalBehavioral Ecology
Volume29
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar 14
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes