A new study turns 100 years of color perception upside down

A new study turns 100 years of color perception upside down
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A new study corrects a key flaw in 3-dimensional mathematical space developed by Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger and others and used by scientists and industry for over 100 years to explain how your eye distinguishes one color from another. The research has the potential to increase scientific data visualizations, improve TVs, and recalibrate the textile and paint industries.

“The default shape of color space requires a paradigm shift,” said Roxana Bujack, a computer scientist with a background in mathematics who creates scientific visualizations at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Bujack is the lead author of the article by the Los Alamos team. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on the mathematics of color perception.

“Our research shows that the current mathematical model of how the eye perceives color differences is wrong. This model was proposed by Bernhard Riemann and developed by Hermann von Helmholtz and Erwin Schrödinger, all the giants in mathematics and physics, and to prove one of them wrong is pretty much a scientist’s dream. ,” said Jack.

Modeling of human color perception, image processingcomputer graphics and visualization tasks.

“Our original idea was to develop algorithms that would automatically improve color maps for data visualization, making them easier to understand and interpret,” Bujack said. Said. That’s why the team was surprised to discover that they were the first to determine that the longstanding application of Riemannian geometry that allowed straight lines to be generalized to curved surfaces didn’t work.

This visualization captures the 3D mathematical space used to map human color perception. A new mathematical representation has found that line segments representing the distance between widely separated colors are not summed up correctly using previously accepted geometry. The research contradicts long-held assumptions and will develop a variety of practical applications of color theory. Credit: Los Alamos National Laboratory

A precise mathematical model of the detected data to establish industry standards color space is necessary. Early attempts used Euclidean spaces, the familiar geometry taught in many high schools; more advanced models used Riemann geometry. Models draw red, green, and blue in 3D space. These are the colors most strongly recorded by the light-sensing cones in our retinas, and not surprisingly, they are the colors that mix to create all the images on your RGB computer screen.

In the study, which blends psychology, biology, and mathematics, Bujack and colleagues discovered that using Riemann geometry exaggerates the perception of large color differences. This is because people perceive a large color difference to be less than the sum you would get if you added up the small color differences between two very different hues.

Riemannian geometry cannot explain this effect.

“We didn’t expect this and we don’t know for sure” geometry this is new colour there’s no room yet,” said Bujack. But we can’t prove it yet.”

Public perception of scientific results distorted by color graphics

More information:
Roxana Bujack et al., Non-Riemannian nature of perceptual color space, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2022). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.211975311

Quotation: Math error: A new study turns 100 years of understanding of color perception upside down (August 10, 2022) Available Aug 10, 2022 at receipt. old-perception.html

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