A psychophysical experiment was performed to determine the effects of lightness dependency on suprathreshold lightness tolerances. Using a pass/fail method of constant stimuli, lightness tolerance thresholds were measured using achromatic stimuli centered at CIELAB L* = 10, 20, 40, 60, 80, and 90 using 44 observers. In addition to measuring tolerance thresholds for uniform samples, lightness tolerances were measured using stimuli with a simulated texture of thread wound on a card. A texture intermediate between the wound thread and the uniform stimuli was also used. A computer-controlled CRT was used to perform the experiments. Lightness tolerances were found to increase with increasing lightness of the test stimuli. For the uniform stimuli this effect was only evident at the higher lightnesses. For the textured stimuli, this trend was more evident throughout the whole lightness range. Texture had an effect of increasing the tolerance thresholds by a factor of almost 2 as compared to the uniform stimuli. The intermediate texture had tolerance thresholds that were between those of the uniform and full-textured stimuli. Transforming the results into a plot of threshold vs. intensity produced results that were more uniform across the three conditions. This may indicate that CIELAB is not the best space in which to model these effects.

Publication Date



This is the pre-peer reviewed version of the following article:

Montag, E. D. and Berns, R. S. (2000), Lightness dependencies and the effect of texture on suprathreshold lightness tolerances. Color Res. Appl., 25: 241–249.

which has been published in final form at DOI: 10.1002/1520-6378(200008)25:4<241::AID-COL4>3.0.CO;2-E This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.

This research was supported by the Munsell Color Science Laboratory Industrial Color Difference Consortium. The current members are 3M, Datacolor International, Bayer Corporation, Inter-Society Color Council, Macbeth, Society of Plastics Engineers, PPG, and Xerox Corporation.ISSN:1534-7362

Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works in February 2014.

Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science (COS)


RIT – Main Campus