In this article, we present evidence supporting the hypothesis that the local mechanism of simultaneous color contrast is the same as the mechanism responsible for the crispening effect and the gamut expansion effect. A theoretically important corollary of this hypothesis is that the basic characteristics of simultaneous contrast are at odds with traditional laws. First, this hypothesis implies that the direction of the simultaneous contrast effect in color space is given by the vector from surround to target and not--as traditionally assumed--by the hue complementary to that of the surround. Second, it implies that the size of the simultaneous contrast effect depends on the difference between the target and surround colors in a way that challenges Kirschmann's fourth law. The widespread belief in the traditional laws, we argue, is due to the confounding influence of temporal adaptation.