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1.  Beyond Correlation: Do Color Features Influence Attention in Rainforest? 
Recent research indicates a direct relationship between low-level color features and visual attention under natural conditions. However, the design of these studies allows only correlational observations and no inference about mechanisms. Here we go a step further to examine the nature of the influence of color features on overt attention in an environment in which trichromatic color vision is advantageous. We recorded eye-movements of color-normal and deuteranope human participants freely viewing original and modified rainforest images. Eliminating red–green color information dramatically alters fixation behavior in color-normal participants. Changes in feature correlations and variability over subjects and conditions provide evidence for a causal effect of red–green color-contrast. The effects of blue–yellow contrast are much smaller. However, globally rotating hue in color space in these images reveals a mechanism analyzing color-contrast invariant of a specific axis in color space. Surprisingly, in deuteranope participants we find significantly elevated red–green contrast at fixation points, comparable to color-normal participants. Temporal analysis indicates that this is due to compensatory mechanisms acting on a slower time scale. Taken together, our results suggest that under natural conditions red–green color information contributes to overt attention at a low-level (bottom-up). Nevertheless, the results of the image modifications and deuteranope participants indicate that evaluation of color information is done in a hue-invariant fashion.
doi:10.3389/fnhum.2011.00036
PMCID: PMC3079176  PMID: 21519395
attention; eye-movements; color
2.  A Quantitative Theory of Human Color Choices 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(2):e55986.
The system for colorimetry adopted by the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage (CIE) in 1931, along with its subsequent improvements, represents a family of light mixture models that has served well for many decades for stimulus specification and reproduction when highly controlled color standards are important. Still, with regard to color appearance many perceptual and cognitive factors are known to contribute to color similarity, and, in general, to all cognitive judgments of color. Using experimentally obtained odd-one-out triad similarity judgments from 52 observers, we demonstrate that CIE-based models can explain a good portion (but not all) of the color similarity data. Color difference quantified by CIELAB ΔE explained behavior at levels of 81% (across all colors), 79% (across red colors), and 66% (across blue colors). We show that the unexplained variation cannot be ascribed to inter- or intra-individual variations among the observers, and points to the presence of additional factors shared by the majority of responders. Based on this, we create a quantitative model of a lexicographic semiorder type, which shows how different perceptual and cognitive influences can trade-off when making color similarity judgments. We show that by incorporating additional influences related to categorical and lightness and saturation factors, the model explains more of the triad similarity behavior, namely, 91% (all colors), 90% (reds), and 87% (blues). We conclude that distance in a CIE model is but the first of several layers in a hierarchy of higher-order cognitive influences that shape color triad choices. We further discuss additional mitigating influences outside the scope of CIE modeling, which can be incorporated in this framework, including well-known influences from language, stimulus set effects, and color preference bias. We also discuss universal and cultural aspects of the model as well as non-uniformity of the color space with respect to different cultural biases.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0055986
PMCID: PMC3569434  PMID: 23409103
3.  Behavior, Color Change and Time for Sexual Inversion in the Protogynous Grouper (Epinephelus adscensionis) 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(5):e19576.
Hermaphroditism, associated with territoriality and dominance behavior, is common in the marine environment. While male sex-specific coloration patterns have been documented in groupers, particularly during the spawning season, few data regarding social structure and the context for these color displays are available. In the present study, we define the social structure and male typical behavior of rock hind (Epinephelus adscensionis) in the wild. In addition, we detail the captive conditions and time period necessary to induce the onset of the sex-specific coloration and sexual change. At six oil production platform locations in the Gulf of Mexico, rock hind social group size and typical male rock hind social behavior were documented. We observed a rapid temporary color display in rock hind that could be turned on and off within three seconds and was used for confronting territory intruders and displays of aggression towards females. The male-specific “tuxedo” pattern consists of a bright yellow tail, a body with alternating dark brown and white patches and a dark bar extending from the upper mandible to the operculum. Identification and size ranges of male, female and intersex fish collected from oil platforms were determined in conjunction with gonadal histology. Rock hind social order is haremic with one dominant male defending a territory and a linear dominance hierarchy among individuals. In five captive experiments, the largest remaining female rock hind displayed the male specific color pattern within 32d after dominant male removal from the social group. To our knowledge, this is the first evidence in a grouper species of color patterning used to display territoriality and dominance outside of spawning aggregations. The behavioral paradigm described here is a key advance that will enable mechanistic studies of this complex sex change process.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0019576
PMCID: PMC3102057  PMID: 21647429
4.  Color-tunable mixed photoluminescence emission from Alq3 organic layer in metal-Alq3-metal surface plasmon structure 
Nanoscale Research Letters  2014;9(1):569.
This work reports the color-tunable mixed photoluminescence (PL) emission from an Alq3 organic layer in an Au-Alq3-Au plasmonic structure through the combination of organic fluorescence emission and another form of emission that is enabled by the surface plasmons in the plasmonic structure. The emission wavelength of the latter depends on the Alq3 thickness and can be tuned within the Alq3 fluorescent spectra. Therefore, a two-color broadband, color-tunable mixed PL structure was obtained. Obvious changes in the Commission Internationale d’Eclairage (CIE) coordinates and the corresponding emission colors of Au-Alq3-Au samples clearly varied with the Alq3 thickness (90, 130, and 156 nm).
doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-569
PMCID: PMC4199778  PMID: 25328506
Surface plasmon polariton; White light; Organic light-emitting; Photoluminescence
5.  Comparison of the Commercial Color LCD and the Medical Monochrome LCD Using Randomized Object Test Patterns 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(5):e37769.
Workstations and electronic display devices in a picture archiving and communication system (PACS) provide a convenient and efficient platform for medical diagnosis. The performance of display devices has to be verified to ensure that image quality is not degraded. In this study, we designed a set of randomized object test patterns (ROTPs) consisting of randomly located spheres with various image characteristics to evaluate the performance of a 2.5 mega-pixel (MP) commercial color LCD and a 3 MP diagnostic monochrome LCD in several aspects, including the contrast, resolution, point spread effect, and noise. The ROTPs were then merged into 120 abdominal CT images. Five radiologists were invited to review the CT images, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was carried out using a five-point rating scale. In the high background patterns of ROTPs, the sensitivity performance was comparable between both monitors in terms of contrast and resolution, whereas, in the low background patterns, the performance of the commercial color LCD was significantly poorer than that of the diagnostic monochrome LCD in all aspects. The average area under the ROC curve (AUC) for reviewing abdominal CT images was 0.717±0.0200 and 0.740±0.0195 for the color monitor and the diagnostic monitor, respectively. The observation time (OT) was 145±27.6 min and 127±19.3 min, respectively. No significant differences appeared in AUC (p = 0.265) and OT (p = 0.07). The overall results indicate that ROTPs can be implemented as a quality control tool to evaluate the intrinsic characteristics of display devices. Although there is still a gap in technology between different types of LCDs, commercial color LCDs could replace diagnostic monochrome LCDs as a platform for reviewing abdominal CT images after monitor calibration.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0037769
PMCID: PMC3365102  PMID: 22701534
6.  The dyschromatopsia of optic neuritis: a descriptive analysis of data from the optic neuritis treatment trial. 
PURPOSE: We sought to characterize the dyschromatopsia of optic neuritis, to determine the type and severity of color defect present and its relation to central vision and spatial acuity, to examine changes in this dyschromatopsia over time, and to determine the applicability of Köllner's rule to patients with optic neuritis. METHODS: We analyzed the raw data on color vision performance as assembled within the Optic Neuritis Treatment Trial (ONTT). The ONTT was designed to evaluate corticosteroids as a treatment for acute demyelinating optic neuritis and to allow long-term outcome and natural history analyses. Between July 1, 1988 and June 30, 1991, 488 patients were enrolled in this trial. All patients underwent extensive neurologic and ophthalmologic examinations including standardized testing of visual function that included testing of color vision. The ONTT population thus afforded a unique opportunity to characterize acquired dyschromatopsias in a large, homogenous, well-characterized cohort of patients with optic neuritis. We used quantitative analysis of FM-100 scores from this patient cohort to determine the severity of the dyschromatopsia, the selectivity of the dyschromatopsia (polarity of errors) and the type of dyschromatopsia (axis of confusion) by employing quadrant analysis of FM-100 scores. RESULTS: The results of high-and low-selectivity analyses of the FM-100 data showed that during the acute phase of optic neuritis, blue/yellow, red/ green, and non-selective color defects occurred; among patients with pure defects, blue/yellow defects were more frequent than red/green defects. At 6 months after the acute event, however, analyses showed that red/green defects were more common than blue/yellow defects. Among patients with selective color defects both acutely and at 6 months, the defect was as likely to change over time as remain the same. The likelihood of persistent dyschromatopsia at 6 months was related to the severity of initial central acuity loss, but the type of dyschromatopsia present (red/green versus blue/yellow) was not. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that at the time of the acute attack of optic neuritis, the majority of selective color defects were blue/yellow defects, whereas at 6 months, more of the selective defects were red/green defects, though both types of defects (as well as nonselective defects) were seen acutely and at 6 months. Despite the rigorous inclusion criteria of the ONTT, the large number of patients we studied, correlation of color vision with visual acuity, and longitudinal follow up, this study showed that no single type of color defect was consistently associated with optic neuritis. Demyelinating optic neuritis does not obey Köllner's rule. Moreover, the type of defect present changed in some patients over the course of recovery. Thus, the type of defect may not even be consistent in individual patients as they recover. The type of defect appeared to be related to spatial vision at the time of the test, but the type of defect present at 6 months was not related to the severity of the initial visual loss. Therefore, in evaluating color defects associated with optic neuritis, the level of central visual function must be considered.
PMCID: PMC1312075  PMID: 8719696
7.  Color opponent receptive fields self-organize in a biophysical model of visual cortex via spike-timing dependent plasticity 
Although many computational models have been proposed to explain orientation maps in primary visual cortex (V1), it is not yet known how similar clusters of color-selective neurons in macaque V1/V2 are connected and develop. In this work, we address the problem of understanding the cortical processing of color information with a possible mechanism of the development of the patchy distribution of color selectivity via computational modeling. Each color input is decomposed into a red, green, and blue representation and transmitted to the visual cortex via a simulated optic nerve in a luminance channel and red–green and blue–yellow opponent color channels. Our model of the early visual system consists of multiple topographically-arranged layers of excitatory and inhibitory neurons, with sparse intra-layer connectivity and feed-forward connectivity between layers. Layers are arranged based on anatomy of early visual pathways, and include a retina, lateral geniculate nucleus, and layered neocortex. Each neuron in the V1 output layer makes synaptic connections to neighboring neurons and receives the three types of signals in the different channels from the corresponding photoreceptor position. Synaptic weights are randomized and learned using spike-timing-dependent plasticity (STDP). After training with natural images, the neurons display heightened sensitivity to specific colors. Information-theoretic analysis reveals mutual information between particular stimuli and responses, and that the information reaches a maximum with fewer neurons in the higher layers, indicating that estimations of the input colors can be done using the output of fewer cells in the later stages of cortical processing. In addition, cells with similar color receptive fields form clusters. Analysis of spiking activity reveals increased firing synchrony between neurons when particular color inputs are presented or removed (ON-cell/OFF-cell).
doi:10.3389/fncir.2014.00016
PMCID: PMC3950416  PMID: 24659956
brain modeling; visual cortex; neocortex; color; color selectivity; self-organizing color maps; self-organizing feature maps; STDP
8.  Color Discrimination in the Tufted Capuchin Monkey, Sapajus spp 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(4):e62255.
The present study evaluated the efficacy of an adapted version of the Mollon-Reffin test for the behavioral investigation of color vision in capuchin monkeys. Ten tufted capuchin monkeys (Sapajus spp., formerly referred to as Cebus apella) had their DNA analyzed and were characterized as the following: one trichromat female, seven deuteranope dichromats (six males and one female), and two protanope males, one of which was identified as an “ML protanope.” For their behavioral characterization, all of the subjects were tested at three regions of the Commission International de l'Eclairage (CIE) 1976 u′v′ diagram, with each test consisting of 20 chromatic variation vectors that were radially distributed around the chromaticity point set as the test background. The phenotypes inferred from the behavioral data were in complete agreement with those predicted from the genetic analysis, with the threshold distribution clearly differentiating between trichromats and dichromats and the estimated confusion lines characteristically converging for deuteranopes and the “classic” protanope. The discrimination pattern of the ML protanope was intermediate between protan and deutan, with confusion lines horizontally oriented and parallel to each other. The observed phenotypic differentiation confirmed the efficacy of the Mollon-Reffin test paradigm as a useful tool for evaluating color discrimination in nonhuman primates. Especially noteworthy was the demonstration of behavioral segregation between the “classic” and “ML” protanopes, suggesting identifiable behavioral consequences of even slight variations in the spectral sensitivity of M/L photopigments in dichromats.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0062255
PMCID: PMC3631197  PMID: 23620819
9.  Characterization of color CRT display systems for monochrome applications 
Journal of Digital Imaging  1999;12(3):102-113.
Soft-copy presentation of medical images is becoming more and more important as medical imaging is strongly moving toward digital technology, and health care facilities are converting to filmless hospital and radiological information management. Although most medical images are monochrome, frequently they are displayed on color CRTs, particularly if general-purpose workstations or PCs are used for medical viewing. In the present report, general measurement and modeling procedures for the characterization of color CRT monitors for monochrome presentation are introduced. The contributions from the three color channels (red, green, and blue) are weighted according to the spectral sensitivity of the human eye for photopic viewing. The luminance behavior and the resolution capabilities of color CRT monitors are analyzed with the help of photometer and charge-coupled device (CCD) camera measurements. For the evaluation of spatial resolution, a two-dimensional Fourier analysis of special test images containing white noise (broadband response) is employed. A stage model for a color CRT monitor is developed to discuss the effects of scanning and dot sampling. Furthermore, display intrinsic veiling glare and reflectivity of typical color CRT monitors are measured and compared with those of monochrome CRT monitors. The developed methods and models allow one to describe the image quality aspects of color monitors if they are applied for medical monochrome image presentation. Particularly, because of the reduced luminance and dynamic range of color monitors, the calibration and control of their luminance curves is a very important task. For present color CRT monitors, 1,280×1,024 turns out to be an intrinsic limit for the displayable matrix of medical images.
doi:10.1007/BF03168629
PMCID: PMC3452435  PMID: 10461573
monitor characterization; color CRT monitors; soft-copy viewing; image quality
10.  Color Selectivity of Neurons in the Posterior Inferior Temporal Cortex of the Macaque Monkey 
Cerebral Cortex (New York, NY)  2009;20(7):1630-1646.
We recorded the activities of neurons in the lateral surface of the posterior inferior temporal cortex (PIT) of 3 hemispheres of 3 monkeys performing a visual fixation task. We characterized the color and shape selectivities of each neuron, mapped its receptive field (RF), and studied the distributions of these response properties. Using a set of color stimuli that were systematically distributed in Commission Internationale de l'Eclairage-xy chromaticity diagram, we found numerous color-selective neurons distributed throughout the area examined. Neurons in the ventral region tended to have sharper color tuning than those in the dorsal region. We also found a crude retinotopic organization in the ventral region. Within the ventral region of PIT, neurons in the dorsal part had RFs that overlapped the foveal center; the eccentricity of RFs increased in the more ventral part, and neurons in the anterior and posterior parts had RFs that represented the lower and upper visual fields, respectively. In all 3 hemispheres, the region where sharply tuned color-selective neurons were concentrated was confined within this retinotopic map. These findings suggest that PIT is a heterogeneous area and that there is a circumscribed region within it that has crude retinotopic organization and is involved in the processing of color.
doi:10.1093/cercor/bhp227
PMCID: PMC2882824  PMID: 19880593
color; inferior temporal cortex; primate; retinotopy; TEO; visual cortex
11.  Sex and vision II: color appearance of monochromatic lights 
Background
Because cerebral cortex has a very large number of testosterone receptors, we examined the possible sex differences in color appearance of monochromatic lights across the visible spectrum. There is a history of men and women perceiving color differently. However, all of these studies deal with higher cognitive functions which may be culture-biased. We study basic visual functions, such as color appearance, without reference to any objects. We present here a detailed analysis of sex differences in primary chromatic sensations.
Methods
We tested large groups of young adults with normal vision, including spatial and temporal resolution, and stereopsis. Based on standard color-screening and anomaloscope data, we excluded all color-deficient observers. Stimuli were equi-luminant monochromatic lights across the spectrum. They were foveally-viewed flashes presented against a dark background. The elicited sensations were measured using magnitude estimation of hue and saturation. When the only permitted hue terms are red (R) yellow (Y), green (G), blue (B), alone or in combination, such hue descriptions are language-independent and the hue and saturation values can be used to derive a wide range of color-discrimination functions.
Results
There were relatively small but clear and significant, differences between males and females in the hue sensations elicited by almost the entire spectrum. Generally, males required a slightly longer wavelength to experience the same hue as did females. The spectral loci of the unique hues are not correlated with anomaloscope matches; these matches are directly determined by the spectral sensitivities of L- and M-cones (genes for these cones are on the X-chromosomes). Nor are there correlations between loci of pairs of unique hues (R, Y, G, B). Wavelength-discrimination functions derived from the scaling data show that males have a broader range of poorer discrimination in the middle of the spectrum. The precise values for all the data depend on whether Newtonian or Maxwellian optics were used, but the sex differences were the same for both optical systems.
Conclusion
As with our associated paper on spatio-temporal vision, there are marked sex differences in color vision. The color-appearances we measured are determined by inputs from thalamic neurons (LGN) to individual neurons in primary visual cortex. This convergence from LGN to cortex is guided by the cortex during embryogenesis. We hypothesize that testosterone plays a major role, somehow leading to different connectivities for males and females: color appearance requires a re-combination and re-weighting of neuronal inputs from the LGN to the cortex, which, as we show, depends on the sex of the participant.
doi:10.1186/2042-6410-3-21
PMCID: PMC3483194  PMID: 22943488
12.  Estimating rice chlorophyll content and leaf nitrogen concentration with a digital still color camera under natural light 
Plant Methods  2014;10(1):36.
Background
The color of crop leaves is closely correlated with nitrogen (N) status and can be quantified easily with a digital still color camera and image processing software. The establishment of the relationship between image color indices and N status under natural light is important for crop monitoring and N diagnosis in the field. In our study, a digital still color camera was used to take pictures of the canopies of 6 rice (Oryza sativa L.) cultivars with N treatments ranging from 0 to 315 kg N ha-1 in the field under sunny and overcast conditions in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
Results
Significant correlations were observed between SPAD readings, leaf N concentration (LNC) and 13 image color indices calculated from digital camera images using three color models: RGB, widely used additive color model; HSV, a cylindrical-coordinate similar to the human perception of colors; and the L*a*b* system of the International Commission on Illumination. Among these color indices, the index b*, which represents the visual perception of yellow-blue chroma, has the closest linear relationship with SPAD reading and LNC. However, the relationships between LNC and color indices were affected by the developmental phase. Linear regression models were used to predict LNC and SPAD from color indices and phasic development. After that, the models were validated with independent data. Generally, acceptable performance and prediction were found between the color index b*, SPAD reading and LNC with different cultivars and sampling dates under different natural light conditions.
Conclusions
Our study showed that digital color image analysis could be a simple method of assessing rice N status under natural light conditions for different cultivars and different developmental stages.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/1746-4811-10-36) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/1746-4811-10-36
PMCID: PMC4236477  PMID: 25411579
Digital still color camera; Leaf color; Image processing technology; Natural light; Nitrogen; Rice
13.  ROC Study of Four LCD Displays Under Typical Medical Center Lighting Conditions 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2006;19(1):30-40.
Nine observers reviewed a previously assembled library of 320 chest computed radiography (CR) images. Observers participated in four sessions, reading a different 1/4 of the sample on each of four liquid crystal displays: a 2-megapixel (MP) consumer color display, a 2-MP business color display, a 2-MP medical-grade gray display, and a 3-MP gray display. Each display was calibrated according to the DICOM Part 14 standard. The viewing application required observer login, then randomized the order of the subsample seen on the display, and timed the responses of the observer to render a 1–5 judgment on the absence or presence of ILD on chest CRs. Selections of 1–2 were considered negative, 3 was indeterminate, and 4–5 were positive. The order of viewing sessions was also randomized for each observer. The experiment was conducted under controlled lighting, temperature, and sound conditions to mimic conditions typically found in a patient examination room. Lighting was indirect, and illuminance at the display face was 195 ± 8% lux and was monitored over the course of the experiment. The average observer sensitivity for the 2 MP color consumer, 2 MP business color, 2 MP gray, and 3 MP gray displays were 83.7%, 84.1%, 85.5%, and 86.7%, respectively. The only pairwise significant difference was between the 2-MP consumer color and the 2-MP gray (P = 0.05). Effect of order within a session was not signitfficant (P = 0.21): period 1 (84.3%), period 2 (86.2%), period 3 (85.4%), period 4 (84.1%). Observer specificity for the various displays was not statistically significant (P = 0.21). Finally, a timing analysis showed no significant difference between the displays for the user group (P = 0.13), ranging from 5.3 s (2 MP color business) to 5.9 s (3 MP Gray). There was, however, a reduction in time over the study that was significant (P <<< 0.001) for all users; the group average decreased from 6.5 to 4.7 s per image. Physical measurements of the resolution, contrast, and noise properties of the displays were acquired. Most notably, the noise of the displays varied by 3.5× between the lowest and highest noise displays. Differences in display noise were indicative of observer performance. However, the large difference in the magnitude of the noise was not predictive of the small difference (3%) in the observer sensitivity for various displays. This is likely because detection of interstitial lung disease is limited by “““““anatomical noise””” rather than display or x-ray image noise.
doi:10.1007/s10278-005-8149-y
PMCID: PMC3043952  PMID: 16249836
ROC; image quality; displays; interstitial lung disease
14.  Bare-Part Color in Female Budgerigars Changes from Brown to Structural Blue following Testosterone Treatment but Is Not Strongly Masculinized 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(1):e86849.
Whereas several studies have shown that experimentally increased levels of the androgenic steroid testosterone can affect female behavior, fewer studies have focused on the activational effects of exogenous testosterone on female morphology. With respect to colorful displays in birds, almost exclusively the effects of testosterone manipulation on female carotenoid-based colorations have been studied. Other color types such as structural colors (i.e. UV, blue and violet colors that result from differential light reflection in the nanostructures of the tissue) remain largely unstudied. Here, we investigated the short- and long-term effects of exogenous testosterone on the expression of structural bare-part coloration in female budgerigars, Melopsittacus undulatus. In this parrot species, bare-part coloration is expressed in the cere, a structure over the beak which is brown in females and structural blue in males. We experimentally increased plasma testosterone levels in testosterone-treated females (T-females) compared to controls (C-females) and we performed weekly spectrophotometric measurements of the cere for five weeks after implantation and one measurement after ten weeks. We also estimated the extent to which testosterone masculinized female cere color by comparing the experimental females with untreated males. We found significant effects of testosterone on cere color from week four after implantation onwards. T-females expressed significantly bluer ceres than C-females with higher values for brightness and UV reflectance. T-female cere color, however, remained significantly less blue than in males, while values for brightness and UV reflectance were significantly higher in T-females than in males. Our quantitative results show that exogenous testosterone induces the expression of structural blue color in females but does not strongly masculinize female cere coloration. We provide several potential pathways for the action of testosterone on structural color.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0086849
PMCID: PMC3901734  PMID: 24475184
15.  Perceptibility and acceptability of CIELAB color differences in computer-simulated teeth 
Journal of dentistry  2007;35(7):593-599.
Objectives
To determine the perceptibility and acceptability of tooth color differences using computer-generated pairs of teeth with simulated gingival displayed on a calibrated color monitor using appropriate signal detection theory methodology (SDT).
Methods
Twelve dental professionals (four from each of the following groups: dentists, dental auxiliaries, and fixed prosthodontic technicians) and four dental patients served as subjects. Responses to tooth color differences (ΔE) were measured on each of the three principal axes of CIELAB color space (L*, a*, and b*). As a control, responses to ΔE = 0 (the false alarm rate) were also measured in the same experimental session.
Results
No group differences among subjects were found. All gave 50% match or acceptance points that averaged about 1.0 ΔE units in the L* and a* directions, and 2.6 units in the b* direction. False alarm rates across all subjects averaged 27% (4–55%) and 28% (0.4–61%), respectively, for perceptibility and acceptability. A reanalysis of the data based on SDT, which takes subjects’ false alarm rates into account, gave somewhat larger color difference thresholds.
Conclusions
Color difference thresholds for our simulated teeth are generally in line with and extend results obtained with studies using “real” dental materials. No differences between thresholds for acceptability versus perceptibility were found.
Furthermore, subjects often reported color differences when none existed, and this behavior needs to be factored into any determination of quality control standards for the fabrication of dental prostheses.
doi:10.1016/j.jdent.2007.03.006
PMCID: PMC2041906  PMID: 17517460
Tooth color; Perceptibility; Acceptability; Signal detection; Color difference; Computer simulation
16.  Adaptive Color Polymorphism and Unusually High Local Genetic Diversity in the Side-Blotched Lizard, Uta stansburiana 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(10):e47694.
Recently, studies of adaptive color variation have become popular as models for examining the genetics of natural selection. We examined color pattern polymorphism and genetic variation in a population of side-blotched lizards (Uta stansburiana) that is found in habitats with both dark (lava) and light colored (granite) substrates. We conducted a limited experiment for adult phenotypic plasticity in laboratory conditions. We recorded both substrate and lizard color patterns in the field to determine whether lizards tended to match their substrate. Finally we examined genetic variation in a gene (melanocortin 1 receptor) that has been shown to affect lizard color in other species and in a presumably neutral gene (mitochondrial cytochrome b). Populations were sampled in the immediate area of the lava flows as well as from a more distant site to examine the role of population structure. Our captive Uta did not change color to match their background. We show that side-blotched lizards tend to match the substrate on which it was caught in the field and that variation in the melanocortin 1 receptor gene does not correlate well with color pattern in this population. Perhaps the most remarkable result is that this population of side-blotched lizards shows extremely high levels of variation at both genetic markers, in the sense of allele numbers, with relatively low levels of between-allele sequence variation. Genetic variation across this small region was as great or greater than that seen in samples of pelagic fish species collected worldwide. Statistical analysis of genetic variation suggests rapid population expansion may be responsible for the high levels of variation.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0047694
PMCID: PMC3485026  PMID: 23133520
17.  The Fall and Rise of US Inequities in Premature Mortality: 1960–2002 
PLoS Medicine  2008;5(2):e46.
Background
Debates exist as to whether, as overall population health improves, the absolute and relative magnitude of income- and race/ethnicity-related health disparities necessarily increase—or derease. We accordingly decided to test the hypothesis that health inequities widen—or shrink—in a context of declining mortality rates, by examining annual US mortality data over a 42 year period.
Methods and Findings
Using US county mortality data from 1960–2002 and county median family income data from the 1960–2000 decennial censuses, we analyzed the rates of premature mortality (deaths among persons under age 65) and infant death (deaths among persons under age 1) by quintiles of county median family income weighted by county population size. Between 1960 and 2002, as US premature mortality and infant death rates declined in all county income quintiles, socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequities in premature mortality and infant death (both relative and absolute) shrank between 1966 and 1980, especially for US populations of color; thereafter, the relative health inequities widened and the absolute differences barely changed in magnitude. Had all persons experienced the same yearly age-specific premature mortality rates as the white population living in the highest income quintile, between 1960 and 2002, 14% of the white premature deaths and 30% of the premature deaths among populations of color would not have occurred.
Conclusions
The observed trends refute arguments that health inequities inevitably widen—or shrink—as population health improves. Instead, the magnitude of health inequalities can fall or rise; it is our job to understand why.
Nancy Krieger and colleagues found evidence of decreasing, and then increasing or stagnating, socioeconomic and racial inequities in US premature mortality and infant death from 1960 to 2002.
Editors' Summary
Background
One of the biggest aims of public health advocates and governments is to improve the health of the population. Improving health increases people's quality of life and helps the population be more economically productive. But within populations are often persistent differences (usually called “disparities” or “inequities”) in the health of different subgroups—between women and men, different income groups, and people of different races/ethnicities, for example. Researchers study these differences so that policy makers and the broader public can be informed about what to do to intervene. For example, if we know that the health of certain subgroups of the population—such as the poor—is staying the same or even worsening as the overall health of the population is improving, policy makers could design programs and devote resources to specifically target the poor.
To study health disparities, researchers use both relative and absolute measures. Relative inequities refer to ratios, while absolute inequities refer to differences. For example, if one group's average income level increases from $1,000 to $10,000 and another group's from $2,000 to $20,000, the relative inequality between the groups stays the same (i.e., the ratio of incomes between the two groups is still 2) but the absolute difference between the two groups has increased from $1,000 to $10,000.
Examining the US population, Nancy Krieger and colleagues looked at trends over time in both relative and absolute differences in mortality between people in different income groups and between whites and people of color.
Why Was This Study Done?
There has been a lot of debate about whether disparities have been widening or narrowing as overall population health improves. Some research has found that both total health and health disparities are getting better with time. Other research has shown that overall health gains mask worsening disparities—such that the rich get healthier while the poor get sicker.
Having access to more data over a longer time frame meant that Krieger and colleagues could provide a more complete picture of this sometimes contradictory story. It also meant they could test their hypothesis about whether, as population health improves, health inequities necessarily widen or shrink within the time period between the 1960s through the 1990s during which certain events and policies likely would have had an impact on the mortality trends in that country.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
In order to investigate health inequities, the authors chose to look at two common measures of population health: rates of premature mortality (dying before the age of 65 years) and rates of infant mortality (death before the age of 1).
To determine mortality rates, the authors used death statistics data from different counties, which are routinely collected by state and national governments. To be able to rank mortality rates for different income groups, they used data on the median family incomes of people living within those counties (meaning half the families had income above, and half had incomes below, the median value). They calculated mortality rates for the total population and for whites versus people of color. They used data from 1960 through 2002. They compared rates for 1966–1980 with two other time periods: 1960–1965 and 1981–2002. They also examined trends in the annual mortality rates and in the annual relative and absolute disparites in these rates by county income level.
Over the whole period 1960–2002, the authors found that premature mortality (death before the age of 65) and infant mortality (death before the age of 1) decreased for all income groups. But they also found that disparities between income groups and between whites and people of color were not the same over this time period. In fact, the economic disparities narrowed then widened. First, they shrank between 1966 and 1980, especially for Americans of color. After 1980, however, the relative health inequities widened and the absolute differences did not change. The authors conclude that if all people in the US population experienced the same health gains as the most advantaged did during these 42 years (i.e., as the whites in the highest income groups), 14% of the premature deaths among whites and 30% of the premature deaths among people of color would have been prevented.
What Do These Findings Mean?
The findings provide an overview of the trends in inequities in premature and infant mortality over a long period of time. Different explanations for these trends can now be tested. The authors discuss several potential reasons for these trends, including generally rising incomes across America and changes related to specific diseases, such as the advent of HIV/AIDS, changes in smoking habits, and better management of cancer and cardiovascular disease. But they find that these do not explain the fall then rise of inequities. Instead, the authors suggest that explanations lie in the social programs of the 1960s and the subsequent roll-back of some of these programmes in the 1980s. The US “War on Poverty,” civil rights legislation, and the establishment of Medicare occurred in the mid 1960s, which were intended to reduce socioeconomic and racial/ethnic inequalities and improve access to health care. In the 1980s there was a general cutting back of welfare state provisions in America, which included cuts to public health and antipoverty programs, tax relief for the wealthy, and worsening inequity in the access to and quality of health care. Together, these wider events could explain the fall then rise trends in mortality disparities.
The authors say their findings are important to inform and help monitor the progress of various policies and programmes, including those such as the Healthy People 2010 initiative in America, which aims to increase the quality and years of healthy life and decrease health disparities by the end of this decade.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed. 0050046.
Healthy People 2010 was created by the US Department of Health and Human Services along with scientists inside and outside of government and includes a comprehensive set of disease prevention and health promotion objectives for the US to achieve by 2010, with two overarching goals: to increase quality and years of healthy life and to eliminate health disparities
Johan Mackenbach and colleagues provide an overview of mortality inequalities in six Western European countries—Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, England/Wales, and Italy—and conclude that eliminating mortality inequalities requires that more cardiovascular deaths among lower socioeconomic groups be prevented, as well as more attention be paid to rising death rates of lung cancer, breast cancer, respiratory disease, gastrointestinal disease, and injuries among women and men in the lower income groups.
The WHO Health for All program promotes health equity
A primer on absolute versus relative differences is provided by the American College of Physicians
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0050046
PMCID: PMC2253609  PMID: 18303941
18.  Analysis of the Skin Transcriptome in Two Oujiang Color Varieties of Common Carp 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(3):e90074.
Background
Body color and coloration patterns are important phenotypic traits to maintain survival and reproduction activities. The Oujiang color varieties of common carp (Cyprinus carpio var. color), with a narrow distribution in Zhejiang Province of China and a history of aquaculture for over 1,200 years, consistently exhibit a variety of body color patterns. The molecular mechanism underlying diverse color patterns in these variants is unknown. To the practical end, it is essential to develop molecular markers that can distinguish different phenotypes and assist selective breeding.
Methodology/Principal Findings
In this exploratory study, we conducted Roche 454 transcriptome sequencing of two pooled skin tissue samples of Oujiang common carp, which correspond to distinct color patterns, red with big black spots (RB) and whole white (WW), and a total of 737,525 sequence reads were generated. The reads obtained in this study were co-assembled jointly with common carp Roche 454 sequencing reads downloaded from NCBI SRA database, resulting in 43,923 isotigs and 546,676 singletons. Over 31 thousand (31,445; 71.6%) isotigs were found with significant BLAST matches (E<1e-10) to the nr protein database, which corresponds to 12,597 annotated zebrafish genes. A total of 70,947 isotigs and singletons (transcripts) were annotated with Gene Ontology, and 60,221 transcripts were found with corresponding EC numbers. Out of 145 zebrafish pigmentation genes, orthologs for 117 were recovered in Oujiang color carp transcriptome, including 18 found only among singletons. Our transcriptome analysis revealed over 52,902 SNPs in Oujiang common carp, and identified 63 SNP markers that are putatively unique either for RB or WW.
Conclusions
The transcriptome of Oujiang color varieties of common carp obtained through this study, along with the pigmentation genes recovered and the color pattern-specific molecular markers developed, will facilitate future research on the molecular mechanism of color patterns and promote aquaculture of Oujiang color varieties of common carp through molecular marker assisted-selective breeding.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0090074
PMCID: PMC3946065  PMID: 24603653
19.  Investigating preferences for color-shape combinations with gaze driven optimization method based on evolutionary algorithms 
Studying aesthetic preference is notoriously difficult because it targets individual experience. Eye movements provide a rich source of behavioral measures that directly reflect subjective choice. To determine individual preferences for simple composition rules we here use fixation duration as the fitness measure in a Gaze Driven Evolutionary Algorithm (GDEA), which has been demonstrated as a tool to identify aesthetic preferences (Holmes and Zanker, 2012). In the present study, the GDEA was used to investigate the preferred combination of color and shape which have been promoted in the Bauhaus arts school. We used the same three shapes (square, circle, triangle) used by Kandinsky (1923), with the three color palette from the original experiment (A), an extended seven color palette (B), and eight different shape orientation (C). Participants were instructed to look for their preferred circle, triangle or square in displays with eight stimuli of different shapes, colors and rotations, in an attempt to test for a strong preference for red squares, yellow triangles and blue circles in such an unbiased experimental design and with an extended set of possible combinations. We Tested six participants extensively on the different conditions and found consistent preferences for color-shape combinations for individuals, but little evidence at the group level for clear color/shape preference consistent with Kandinsky's claims, apart from some weak link between yellow and triangles. Our findings suggest substantial inter-individual differences in the presence of stable individual associations of color and shapes, but also that these associations are robust within a single individual. These individual differences go some way toward challenging the claims of the universal preference for color/shape combinations proposed by Kandinsky, but also indicate that a much larger sample size would be needed to confidently reject that hypothesis. Moreover, these experiments highlight the vast potential of the GDEA methodology in experimental aesthetics and beyond.
doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00926
PMCID: PMC3861611  PMID: 24379791
visual perception; aesthetics; shape; color; evolutionary algorithm; individual preference
20.  Standardization of In vitro Macrophotography for Assessment of Cutaneous Responses 
Photochemistry and photobiology  2009;85(4):1032-1037.
The increased popularity of commercially available 3-dimensional human skin equivalents in recent years has allowed for assessment of melanogenesis modulated by compounds topically applied to the skin or directly incorporated from the medium. These skin equivalents provide a suitable model for elucidating the mechanisms of action of various factors that modulate skin pigmentation or other properties of the skin. As such, researchers need to objectively quantify cutaneous responses at the macroscopic level. A simple method to standardize macrophotography images is reported that can quantify cutaneous responses in human skin equivalents of Asian, Black or African American, and Caucasian or White racial/ethnic origin. Macrophotographs are analyzed using the Commission Internationale de l’Eclairage L*a*b* color space system in combination with a personal computer and image editing software. Pigmentation changes monitored over a 9 day period showed a high correlation with melanin content evaluated in Fontana-Masson stained sections. These results indicate the feasibility of using a macrophotography setup in a sterile tissue culture environment to objectively assess in vitro cutaneous responses in human skin equivalents. This serves as an adjunct tool to biochemical and morphological methods to effectively quantify changes in pigmentation over time.
doi:10.1111/j.1751-1097.2009.00549.x
PMCID: PMC2705686  PMID: 19320841
21.  Dissociation of Color and Figure-Ground Effects in the Watercolor Illusion 
Spatial vision  2006;19(2-4):323-340.
Two phenomena can be observed in the watercolor illusion: illusory color spreading and figure-ground organization. We performed experiments to determine whether the figure-ground effect is a consequence of the color illusion or due to an independent mechanism. Subjects were tested with displays consisting of six adjacent compartments, three that generated the illusion alternating with three that served for comparison. In a first set of experiments, the illusory color was measured by finding the matching physical color in the alternate compartments. Figureness (probability of ‘figure’ responses, 2AFC) of the watercolor compartments was then determined with and without the matching color in the alternate compartments. The color match reduced figureness, but did not abolish it. There was a range of colors in which the watercolor compartments dominated as figures over the alternate compartments although the latter appeared more saturated in color. In another experiment, the effect of tinting alternate compartments was measured in displays without watercolor illusion. Figureness increased with color contrast, but its value at the equivalent contrast fell short of the figureness value obtained for the watercolor pattern. Thus, in both experiments figureness produced by the watercolor pattern was stronger than expected from the color effect, suggesting independent mechanisms. Considering the neurophysiology, we propose that the color illusion follows from the principles of representation of surface color in the visual cortex, while the figure-ground effect results from two mechanisms of border ownership assignment, one that is sensitive to asymmetric shape of edge profile, the other to consistency of color borders.
PMCID: PMC1551905  PMID: 16862843
Watercolor illusion; figure-ground segregation; border ownership; surface color; neural coding of contour
22.  Comparison of Color LCD and Medical-grade Monochrome LCD Displays in Diagnostic Radiology 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2007;20(2):114-121.
In diagnostic radiology, medical-grade monochrome displays are usually recommended because of their higher luminance. Standard color displays can be used as a less expensive alternative, but have a lower luminance. The aim of the present study was to compare image quality for these two types of displays. Images of a CDRAD contrast-detail phantom were read by four radiologists using a 2-megapixel (MP) color display (143 cd/m2 maximum luminance) as well as 2-MP (295 cd/m2) and 3-MP monochrome displays. Thirty lumbar spine radiographs were also read by four radiologists using the color and the 2-MP monochrome display in a visual grading analysis (VGA). Very small differences were found between the displays when reading the CDRAD images. The VGA scores were −0.28 for the color and −0.25 for the monochrome display (p = 0.24; NS). It thus seems possible to use color displays in diagnostic radiology provided that grayscale adjustment is used.
doi:10.1007/s10278-007-9028-5
PMCID: PMC3043910  PMID: 17340227
PACS; displays; digital imaging; luminance; image quality; monitor; medical imaging; liquid crystal display
23.  Pink-color sign in esophageal squamous neoplasia, and speculation regarding the underlying mechanism 
AIM: To investigate the reasons for the occurrence of the pink-color sign of iodine-unstained lesions.
METHODS: In chromoendoscopy, the pink-color sign of iodine-unstained lesions is recognized as useful for the diagnosis of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. Patients with superficial esophageal neoplasms treated by endoscopic resection were included in the study. Areas of mucosa with and without the pink-color sign were evaluated histologically. The following histologic features that were possibly associated with the pink-color sign were evaluated. The keratinous layer and basal cell layer were classified as present or absent. Cellular atypia was classified as high grade, moderate grade or low grade, based on nuclear irregularity, mitotic figures, loss of polarity, chromatin pattern and nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio. Vascular change was assessed based on dilatation, tortuosity, caliber change and variability in shape. Vessels with these four findings were classified as positive for vascular change. Endoscopic images of the lesions were captured immediately after iodine staining, 2-3 min after iodine staining and after complete fading of iodine staining. Quantitative analysis of color changes after iodine staining was also performed.
RESULTS: A total of 61 superficial esophageal neoplasms in 54 patients were included in the study. The lesions were located in the cervical esophagus in one case, the upper thoracic esophagus in 10 cases, the mid-thoracic esophagus in 33 cases, and the lower thoracic esophagus in 17 cases. The median diameter of the lesions was 20 mm (range: 2-74 mm). Of the 61 lesions, 28 were classified as pink-color sign positive and 33 as pink-color sign negative. The histologic diagnosis was high-grade intraepithelial neoplasia (HGIN) or cancer invading into the lamina propria in 26 of the 28 pink-color sign positive lesions. There was a significant association between pink-color sign positive epithelium and HGIN or invasive cancer (P = 0.0001). Univariate analyses found that absence of the keratinous layer and cellular atypia were significantly associated with the pink-color sign. After Bonferroni correction, there were no significant associations between the pink-color sign and presence of the basal membrane or vascular change. Multivariate analyses found that only absence of the keratinous layer was independently associated with the pink-color sign (OR = 58.8, 95%CI: 5.5-632). Quantitative analysis was performed on 10 superficial esophageal neoplasms with both pink-color sign positive and negative areas in 10 patients. Pink-color sign positive mucosa had a lower mean color value in the late phase (pinkish color) than in the early phase (yellowish color), and had similar mean color values in the late and final phases. These findings suggest that pink-color positive mucosa underwent color fading from the color of the iodine (yellow) to the color of the mucosa (pink) within 2-3 min after iodine staining. Pink-color sign negative mucosa had similar mean color values in the late and early phases (yellowish color), and had a lower mean color value in the final phase (pinkish color) than in the late phase. These findings suggest that pink-color sign negative mucosa did not undergo color fading during the 2-3 min after iodine staining, and underwent color fading only after spraying of sodium thiosulfate.
CONCLUSION: The pink-color sign was associated with absence of the keratinous layer. This sign may be caused by early fading of iodine staining.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i27.4300
PMCID: PMC3718897  PMID: 23885140
Chromoendoscopy; Esophageal cancer; Esophageal squamous neoplasia; Iodine staining; Pink-color sign
24.  Effect of LCD monitor type and observer experience on diagnostic performance in soft-copy interpretations of the maxillary sinus on panoramic radiographs 
Imaging Science in Dentistry  2011;41(1):11-16.
Purpose
The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor type and observer experience on the diagnostic performance in soft-copy interpretations of maxillary sinus inflammatory lesions on panoramic radiographs.
Materials and Methods
Ninety maxillary sinuses on panoramic images were grouped into negative and positive groups according to the presence of inflammatory lesions, using CT for confirmation. Monochrome and color LCDs were used. Six observers participated and ROC analysis was performed to evaluate the diagnostic performance. The reading time, fatigue score, and inter-/intra-observer agreements were assessed.
Results
The interpretation of maxillary sinus inflammatory lesions was affected by the LCD monitor type used and by the experience of the observer. The reading time was not significantly different, however the fatigue score was significantly different between two LCD monitors. Inter-observer agreement was relatively good in experienced observers, while the intra-observer agreement for all observers was good with monochrome LCD but not with color LCD.
Conclusion
The less experienced observers showed lowered diagnostic ability with a general color LCD.
doi:10.5624/isd.2011.41.1.11
PMCID: PMC3174453  PMID: 21977468
Maxillary Sinus; Task Performance; ROC curve
25.  Observer Performance Using Virtual Pathology Slides: Impact of LCD Color Reproduction Accuracy 
Journal of Digital Imaging  2012;25(6):738-743.
The use of color LCDs in medical imaging is growing as more clinical specialties use digital images as a resource in diagnosis and treatment decisions. Telemedicine applications such as telepathology, teledermatology, and teleophthalmology rely heavily on color images. However, standard methods for calibrating, characterizing, and profiling color displays do not exist, resulting in inconsistent presentation. To address this, we developed a calibration, characterization, and profiling protocol for color-critical medical imaging applications. Physical characterization of displays calibrated with and without the protocol revealed high color reproduction accuracy with the protocol. The present study assessed the impact of this protocol on observer performance. A set of 250 breast biopsy virtual slide regions of interest (half malignant, half benign) were shown to six pathologists, once using the calibration protocol and once using the same display in its “native” off-the-shelf uncalibrated state. Diagnostic accuracy and time to render a decision were measured. In terms of ROC performance, Az (area under the curve) calibrated = 0.8570 and Az uncalibrated = 0.8488. No statistically significant difference (p = 0.4112) was observed. In terms of interpretation speed, mean calibrated = 4.895 s; mean uncalibrated = 6.304 s which is statistically significant (p = 0.0460). Early results suggest a slight advantage diagnostically for a properly calibrated and color-managed display and a significant potential advantage in terms of improved workflow. Future work should be conducted using different types of color images that may be more dependent on accurate color rendering and a wider range of LCDs with varying characteristics.
doi:10.1007/s10278-012-9479-1
PMCID: PMC3491161  PMID: 22546982
Color displays; Diagnostic accuracy; Color calibration; Color management; Pathology

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