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The Abney Effect relates to color perception. The term covers two phenomena.

  • Specifically the Abney effect relates to the apparent shift in hue of monochromatic light when white light is added, thus increasing total illumination. For example, a blue light would seem to become more red when white light is added.
  • It also relates to the perceptual illusion that happens when a large area is suddenly illuminated. The light appears to come on in the centre of the area and then spreads to the edges. Conversly if the illumination is suddenly turned off the edges disappear first as the light then disappears at the centre.

See alsoEdit

Other color illuminance change effects include


  • Burns SA, Elsner AE, Pokorny J, Smith VC. (1984). The Abney effect: chromaticity coordinates of unique and other constant hues.Vision Res. 24(5):479-89.PMID: 6740967
  • Kulp TD, Fuld K. (1995) The prediction of hue and saturation for non-spectral lights.

Vision Res. Nov;35(21):2967-83.PMID 8533335

  • Knottenberg T, Scheibner H. (1993) Reference to the Abney effect within the scope of linear opponent-color theory Ophthalmologe. Apr;90(2):155-60. German. PMID 8490298
  • Kurtenbach W, Sternheim CE, Spillmann L. Related Articles, (1984). Change in hue of spectral colors by dilution with white light (Abney effect). [[J Opt Soc Am A.Apr;1(4):365-72. PMID 6726489
  • Mizokami Y, Werner JS, Crognale MA, Webster MA. (2006), Nonlinearities in color coding: compensating color appearance for the eye's spectral sensitivity. J Vis.31;6(9):996-1007. PMID: 17083291

External linksEdit

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