PLATEAU'S EXPERIMENTS REVISITED

  • Francisco J. Sanchez-Marin

Abstract

Joseph Plateau’s pioneering experiments on the perception of contrast were replicated. The experiments were not done exactly as Plateau did. The main difference in our design was that, we made use of a computer to have the participants to generate grey scales using the bisection method. Our program interacted with each participant in such a way that he/she could generate a grey scale using the grey levels that were generated in the previous step. The experiments were done first with a black background and then with a white background, and with and without linearizing the computer monitor. Subjects with professional training for handling color as well as non trained subjects were invited to participate. The generated grey scales were analyzed with the help of a computer. Our results show that training is an important factor in contrast perception and that linearizing the computer display does not help the observers in the generation of a grey scale.

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