Color determinants of surface stratification

Osvaldo Da Pos, Dhanraj Vishwanath, Liliana Albertazzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
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Although color plays a crucial role in the demarcation of surfaces in the visual field, its role in depth perception is not well understood. Certain special effects of color on depth perception that arise from optical factors such as chromatic aberration (chromostereopsis) have been studied, but less is known about the role of perceptual factors of color in determining depth relations. The present study explores the role that the different attributes of color such as hue, chroma, and lightness play in the stratification of surfaces in depth. In two experiments, subjects manipulated specific dimensions of colors (hue, chroma, lightness, and whiteness) while making judgments of coplanarity of either two or more abutting surfaces. The results demonstrate that for surfaces to appear coplanar, their lightness has to be proportional to the natural (intrinsic) lightness of the hues. No meaningful effects of chroma, whiteness, or blackness were found in depth stratification. The results suggest a primary role of the natural lightness of hues in depth perception.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalColor Research & Application
VolumeEarly View
Early online date19 Oct 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Oct 2020


  • Chromostereopsis
  • Color perception
  • Coplanarity
  • Depth perception
  • Natural lightness


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