Recent research describes associations that exist between color perception, artistic representation of naturalistic scenes and photopigment opsin genetics (Jameson, Winkler & Goldfarb 2016, Bochko & Jameson 2016). To further explore how genetically-based individual variation in color vision phenotypes might relate to practical and artistic uses of color, Jameson and colleagues investigated the accuracy with which participants reproduced Munsell color samples using mixtures from a standard fixed palette of oil paint pigments. Ten volunteers (n=5 “artists” and n=5 “nonartists”) consented to participate in three self-paced experiments in which 41 Munsell Book of Color singleton target samples were randomly presented, for which participants were tasked with accurately reproducing each target color by way of oil paint pigment mixtures, under three different controlled illumination conditions. Participants assessed varied with respect to photopigment opsin genotypes, artistic training, and gender. Preliminary results suggest that accuracy of color reproductions are systematically impacted by (i) degree of participant’s artistic training, (ii) individual’s photopigment opsin genotype, and (iii) the spectral content of illuminants under which stimuli were viewed and reproduced by painting.  Moreover, similar to the methods described by Bochko and Jameson (2016), genetic algorithm modeling and data analyses applied to individual’s data revealed substantial insights concerning the nonuniformity and dimensionality of participant’s color reproduction space, as well as the ways individual color space varies with changes in ambient viewing illumination. Findings suggest that regardless of participant’s level of artistic training, the color reproduction task introduced here is an appropriate and rigorous way to assess individual differences in color perception that are linked to a varying range of possible underlying photopigment opsin genotypes.

 

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