chromatic adaptation

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1 A form of adaptation (2) resulting from continuous exposure to light of a particular colour or hue and consequent bleaching of the associated visual pigment, causing a gradual loss of saturation (1) of the perceived colour and the appearance of its complementary colour if a white surface is viewed. See also xanthopsia.

2 More generally, an alteration of the balance of pigments in a biological membrane in response to the colour and intensity of the ambient light. Also called colour adaptation.

Subjects: Psychology.

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