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There have been monumental advances in our knowledge of color vision during the last 100 years. The spectral sensitivities of the cone photoreceptors are now known in great detail down to their molecular genetic foundations. The characteristics of subsequent color opponent processes have been well studied, even though it is still not known how exactly they are implemented by the retinal circuitry. Finally, big advancements have been made in our understanding of the cortical mechanisms of color vision. This book tries to offer a snapshot of our current understanding about the visual neuroscience of color vision. We hope that the reader gets the impression that it is a vibrant and active field of research.
Although we do cover many different aspects of color vision in this book, the list of topics that are missing - owing to limited space - is just as long. In particular, we regret that we could not include chapters on the development of color vision, effects of aging, and, most notably, the current state of understanding on color appearance.
We are grateful to all our colleagues who contributed to this book, and at the same time, we would like to apologize to them for our persistent nagging about the delivery of their chapters. We are grateful to our editors at Cambridge University Press: Robin Smith (now at Springer) who got us started and to Michael Penn and Cathy Felgar, who brought it to an end.

This book is based on a workshop organized by the editors in 1996. We are grateful to the Max-Planck-Society and the fortüne-program of Tübingen University. Without their generous financial support the workshop would not have been possible. We are particularly grateful to Heinrich Bülthoff and Eberhart Zrenner for their encouragement. We would also like to thank our friends and families for support, encouragement, and food.

Finally, we recall what Ragnar Granit warned William Rushton long ago: "Colour is the femme fatale of vision. When once seduced, you will never be a free man again." Truly, many a dangerous temptation comes arrayed in fine bright colors.

Karl R. Gegenfurtner and Lindsay T. Sharpe

Tübingen, May 1999

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