Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Color Perception Is Not In The Eye Of The Beholder: It's In The Brain

David Williams, Allyn Professor of Medical Optics and director of the Center for Visual Science believe that color perception goes far beyond the eye. They used a laser to map the inner eye in pristine detail, the laser used was originally an astronomers telescope to compensate for the blurring of the star light caused by the atmosphere. The test that took place was each subject was asked tune the color of a disk of light to produce a pure yellow light that was neither reddish yellow nor greenish yellow. Everyone selected nearly the same wavelength of yellow, showing an obvious consensus over what color they perceived yellow to be. Once Williams looked into their eyes, however, he was surprised to see that the number of long- and middle-wavelength cones—the cones that detect red, green, and yellow—were sometimes profusely scattered throughout the retina, and sometimes barely evident. 
Even though people picked the same color in the test, there eyes showed different colors of that yellow. Everyone thinks they perceive the same colors when really our eyes play a trick on us because they put together the color in different ways.

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