Troscianko T, Parraga C A, Brelstaff G, Carr D, Nelson K, 1996, "Spatio-chromatic information content of natural scenes" Perception 25 ECVP Abstract Supplement
Spatio-chromatic information content of natural scenes
T Troscianko, C A Parraga, G Brelstaff, D Carr, K Nelson
A common assumption in the study of the relationship between human vision and the visual environment is that human vision has developed in order to encode the incident information in an optimal manner. Such arguments have been used to support the 1/f dependence of scene content as a function of spatial frequency. In keeping with this assumption, we ask whether there are any important differences between the luminance and (r/g) chrominance Fourier spectra of natural scenes, the simple expectation being that the chrominance spectrum should be relatively richer in low spatial frequencies than the luminance spectrum, to correspond with the different shape of luminance and chrominance contrast sensitivity functions.
We analysed a data set of 29 images of natural scenes (predominantly of vegetation at different distances) which were obtained with a hyper-spectral camera (measuring the scene through a set of 31 wavelength bands in the range 400 -- 700 nm). The images were transformed to the three Smith -- Pokorny cone fundamentals, and further transformed into `luminance' (r+g) and `chrominance' (r-g) images, with various assumptions being made about the relative weighting of the r and g components, and the form of the chrominance response. We then analysed the Fourier spectra of these images using logarithmic intervals in spatial frequency space. This allowed a determination of the total energy within each Fourier band for each of the luminance and chrominance representations.
The results strongly indicate that, for the set of scenes studied here, there was no evidence of a predominance of low-spatial-frequency chrominance information. Two classes of explanation are possible: (a) that raw Fourier content may not be the main organising principle determining visual encoding of colour, and/or (b) that our scenes were atypical of what may have driven visual evolution. We present arguments in favour of both of these propositions.