Is neural binding of color and form required for perception of a unified colored object? Individual cells selectively tuned to both color and orientation are proposed to moot the binding problem. This study reveals perceptual misbinding of color, thereby revealing separate neural representations of color and form followed by a subsequent binding process. Low luminance-contrast, rivalrous chromatic gratings were presented dichoptically. Each grating had alternating chromatic and gray stripes (e.g., red/gray in the left eye, green/gray in the right eye). Observers viewed the two rivalrous, 2 cpd gratings for 1 min. The duration of exclusive visibility was measured for four percepts: left-eye stimulus, right-eye stimulus, fusion of the two colors, or a two-color grating (e.g. a red/green grating). The percept of a two-color grating (misbinding) was observed with Michelson luminance contrast in the grating up to 20%. In general, for a given level of luminance contrast either misbinding (low luminance contrast) or color mixture (high luminance contrast) was observed, but not both of them. The perceived two-color gratings show that two rivalrous chromaticities are both represented neurally when color and form are combined to give a unified percept. “Resolution” of competing chromatic signals from the two eyes is not restricted to color dominance and color mixture. The transition from misbinding to color mixture by increasing luminance contrast shows that luminance edges have an important role in correct localization of color.
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