Laboratoire Psychologie de la Perception Institut Neurosciences Cognition Université Paris Descartes Centre National de Recherche Scientifique
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More evidence for sensorimotor adaptation in color perception

Sensorimotor adaptation can be defined as a perceptual adaptation whose effects depend on the occurrence and nature of the performed motor actions. Examples of sensorimotor adaptation can be found in the literature on prisms concerning several space-related attributes like orientation, curvature, and size. In this article, we show that sensorimotor adaptation can be obtained for color, as a consequence of the introduction of a new sensorimotor contingency between eye movements and color changes. In an adaptation phase, trials involved the successive presentation of two patches, first on the left, and then on the right or the opposite. The left patch being always red and the right patch green, a correlation is introduced between left-right (respectively right-left) eye saccades and red-green (respectively green-red) color change. After 40 min of adaptation, when two yellow patches are successively presented on each side of the screen, the chromaticity of the left and right patches need respectively to be shifted toward the chromaticity of the red and green adaptation patches for subjective equality to be obtained. When the eyes are kept fixed during the adaptation stage, creating a strong nonhomogeneity in retinal adaptation, no effect is found. This ensures that, if present, adaptation at a given retinal location cannot explain the present effect. A third experiment shows a dependency of the effect on the eyes' saccadic movements and not on the position on the screen, that is, on the position of the eyes in the orbits. These results argue for the involvement of sensorimotor mechanisms in color perception. The relation of these experimental findings toward a sensorimotor theory of color perception is discussed.