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Color shifts induced by S-cone patterns are mediated by a neural representation driven by multiple cone types


This study investigated chromatic induction from inhomogeneous background patterns. Previous work showed that a background pattern detected by only S cones induced strong color shifts in a nearby test area (Monnier & Shevell, 2003). In that work, the S-cone patterns were composed with constant L- and M-cone stimulation over the entire background; in terms of L and M cones, therefore, the background was uniform. S-cone stimulation was varied over space to produce S-cone-isolated background patterns. These S-cone patterns, however, established spatial structure (the pattern) at both the receptoral level (S-cone stimulation) and the postreceptoral level (S/(L+M)). Here, these two levels of pattern representation were unconfounded to determine whether color shifts induced by S-cone patterns were due to spatial structure within an S-cone-specific neural pathway versus a pathway that combines responses from S cones and other cone types (e.g. S/(L+M)). The results showed that the induced color shifts were mediated by signals within a pathway that combines responses from multiple cone types. These results are consistent with a +s/−s spatially antagonistic neural receptive field, which is found in some neurons in V1 and V2.

Corresponding author
Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Steven K. Shevell, The University of Chicago, 940 East 57th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, USA. E-mail:
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Visual Neuroscience
  • ISSN: 0952-5238
  • EISSN: 1469-8714
  • URL: /core/journals/visual-neuroscience
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