Thursday, October 27, 2005

Color Perception Is Not In The Eye Of The Beholder

I have long been puzzled over this. A friend of mine is color-blind, and I suppose it is one of those things where you know what it means but never really think about what it actually means. This particular friend "can't see red" -- he says it looks similar to black, but somehow distinguishes it -- because his brain has only known red to look the way it does to him.

I've wondered, who is to say that red looks the same to everyone? Sure, we both look at something red -- and we both know that it is red -- but what if your red is blue to me, but I've been told my whole life that it is red so it must be red. It's a rough philosophical concept that is hard to wrap your head around, but I digress...

First-ever images of living human retinas have yielded a surprise about how we perceive our world. Researchers at the University of Rochester have found that the number of color-sensitive cones in the human retina differs dramatically among people -- by up to 40 times -- yet people appear to perceive colors the same way."

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