Wednesday 21 January 2015 – Lunchtime seminar with Dr Alessandro Soranzo

A colour contrast illusion.

Title: Why the same colour can appear different?
Speaker: Dr Alessandro Soranzo (Psychology, SHU)

Dr Alessandro Soranzo is a Reader in Psychology within the Faculty of Development and Society at Sheffield Hallam University. His main area of interest lies in the Psychology of Perception, including; Colour and Illumination Perception, Visual Illusions, Perception and Art, Virtual Reality, and Robotics.

Colour contrast is the condition whereby two surfaces with the same spectral composition are perceived to have a different colour when they are placed against backgrounds with different chromaticity. Although this phenomenon has been the focus of philosophical and scientific investigation for (literally) millennia, there is still little agreement on why it is happening. For example, it has been explained in terms of low-level (retinal) mechanisms; however, convincing evidences supporting more high-level, cognitive, interpretations have been presented over the few last decades. Two are the main high-level interpretations. On one side, the layer approach claims that the visual system splits the light reaching the eyes into separate overlapping layers, corresponding to separate physical contributions, such as illumination, colour and transparencies; whilst on the other side, the framework approach maintains that the visual system groups the different light intensities within a set of contiguous frameworks. By exposing new and old compelling lightness illusions, this presentation will highlight the pros and cons of both the high and mid-level approaches to colour perception and it will suggest that a combination of the two approaches would lead to a more comprehensive colour theory.

1.00PM – 2.00PM

See here for details of other seminars in the series.

All SHU staff and students are welcome to attend the C3RI Lunchtime Research Seminars. If you are from outside of the University and would like to attend a seminar, please email C3RI Administrator to arrange entry.