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Fechner-Benham subjective colors do not induce McCollough after-effects

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image of Spatial Vision
For more content, see Multisensory Research and Seeing and Perceiving.

Fechner-Benham subjective color is widely believed to be governed by local interactions in early (probably retinal) mechanisms. Here we report three lines of phenomenological evidence that suggest otherwise: subjective colors seen in spatially extended stimuli (a) are dependent on global aspects of the stimuli; (b) can become multistable in position; and (c) even after being stabilized do not support the creation of McCollough's colored after-effects — a cortically based phenomenon generally thought to be more central than Fechner-Benham color. These phenomena suggest a central locus that controls perception of subjective color, characterized by pattern dependent interactions among cortical mechanisms that draw their inputs from peripheral units.


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