Changes in pattern induced flicker colors are mediated by the blue-yellow opponent process.
The colors of Benham's Top [pattern induced flicker colors (PIFCs)] were matched with color stimuli provided by a computer aided color mixer. Subjects viewed a series of specifically modified black and white disks and matched the resulting subjective color with a comparison field containing the color generated by additive mixing. Different phase relations between the apparently colored ring and the surround were tested. The color loci of all PIFCs were found to lie on a plane in receptor three-space which is given by the axis of the shortwave receptor excitation and a vector given by combining the middle and long wave receptor excitation directions in a fixed ratio of nearly 1:1. From the orientation of this plane it can be deduced that the blue-yellow opponent process (the blue-on-center cells) alone accounts for the different PIFCs.