1.1. Three functions of color vision. Setting aside the complex psychological effects of color, related to esthetics, fashion, and mood, three relatively basic functions of color vision, which can be examined scientifically, are discernable. (1) With the eye in a given state of adaptation, color vision allows the perception of signals that otherwise would be below threshold, and therefore lost to perception. Evidence for this comes from a variety of two-color threshold experiments. (2) Visible contours can be maintained by color differences alone, regardless of the relative radiances of the two parts of the field whose junction defines the border. For achromatic vision, contour disappears at the isoluminant point. (3) Color specifies what seems to be an absolute property of a surface, one that enhances its recognizability and allows a clearer separation and classification of non-contiguous elements in the visual field.