Dimosthenis Karatzas


Refereed Papers

Changes in Colour Perception Across the Life-span

C. Fu, S. Wuerger, K. Xiao and D. Karatzas

Proceedings proceedings of the 11th Congress of the International Colour Association (AIC), Sydney, Australia, September 2009


We assessed chromatic sensitivity along the protan, the deutan, and the tritan line (Cambridge Colour Test, CRS Ltd.), the loci of the unique hues (red, green, yellow, blue) and the achromatic locus (neutral grey) for a very large sample (n=185) of colour-normal observers ranging from 18 to 75 years of age. Visual judgements were obtained under normal viewing conditions using broad-band self-luminous stimuli (CRT) under controlled adaptation conditions. Results. Trivector discrimination thresholds increased as a function of age along the protan, the deutan, and the tritan axis (with coefficient of determination of R² > 0.1), with the largest increase being present along the tritan line, which is consistent with the known age-related changes in the lens. We find less pronounced shifts in unique hue settings. Unique red and unique yellow settings do not change with age. Unique blue shifts towards green and unique green shift towards yellow; however, the coefficient of determination is very small in both cases (R² < 0.1). Similarly, the locus of neutral grey is not affected by age (R² < 0.1). Conclusion. We conclude that the chromatic sensitivity deterioriates significantly with age, whereas the appearance of unique hues and neutral grey is much less affected remaining almost constant despite the known changes in the ocular media. Our study provides useful normative data both for sensitivity and appearance changes with ageing.

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