Color Constancy – Seeing Color in a Changing World

Hosted By: Color Technical Group

21 June 2021, 10:00 - 11:00 - Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC - 05:00)

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In everyday life, we identify surface colors under different illumination conditions without usually making noticeable errors (when e.g. looking for the ripest tomatoes in the garden in different weather conditions). The ability to identify color independent of the impinging illumination is called color constancy. Color constancy is a hard computational problem because the light reflected to the eye from a surface depends on the light illuminating the surface; when we view the same surface under different illuminations, the eye receives a different sensory signal. For surface color to be a useful cue to, for instance, object identity, the brain must resolve the ambiguity between surface reflectance and illumination.

In this webinar hosted by the Color Technical Group, Maria Olkkonen from Durham University and the University of Helsinki will define the computational problem of color constancy, provide an overview of how color constancy can be studied in the laboratory, and discuss different mechanisms by which the human visual system may solve the constancy problem. Dr. Olkkonen will also touch briefly on how color constancy develops across the lifespan.

What You Will Learn:

  • Why color constancy is a hard computational problem for a visual system
  • How laboratory studies have informed vision scientists about human color constancy
  • How the human visual system may solve the constancy problem

Who Should Attend:

  • Students, researchers and professionals interested in color perception
  • Anyone interested in understanding how humans perceive surface color under constantly changing viewing conditions

About the Presenter: Maria Olkkonen, Durham University & University of Helsinki

Maria Olkkonen is a vision scientist who studies the computational and neural mechanisms of color perception. Her work revolves around the ability to see stable surface colors across variation in scene illumination and context — color constancy. In particular, she studies how color information is learned from visual input, and how this information is used to estimate color in novel and uncertain viewing situations. She has made discoveries on how object identity affects color perception, and how perceptual and memory effects interact in determining color percepts.