Q:

How does chromatic adaptation work?

A:

Chromatic adaptation enables the human eye to adapt to various forms of light. According to Images And Visual Representation Group, chromatic adaptation causes the eyes to ignore the color of the surrounding light, enabling them to retain the color and appearance of the original object even after looking at something else.

The US National Library of Medicine states that chromatic adaptation resulting from viewing light sources of certain wavelengths normally reverses an image’s color appearance. Short-term chromatic adaptation is normally a result from exposure of 15-minutes or less to chromatic light. The effects delay for seconds or minutes, depending on the factors involved. Even though it hasn't been studied extensively, the US National Library of Medicine states that long-term chromatic adaptation results from exposure to chromatic light for one hour or more on a daily basis for a duration of many days or weeks. According to Images And Visual Representation Group, examining a single white object under different types of light, including incandescent and daylight, allows one to observe this chromatic adaptation. When the viewer adapts to the same source of light that the white object is under, the white object will retain its white color under both sources of light.


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