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Your memories are more colorful than you know

“…HUMANS ARE SO GOOD AT VISUALIZING THE WORLD WE LIVE IN….WE NEVER REALLY SEE WHAT’S THERE.”

Say Whaaaaaaaaaat??!!!?? ….. Is that some kind of ‘can’t see the forest for the trees?’ metaphor? Actually, no.

During my recent and on-going research, while learning more about color behavioral affects on humans as well as the technical aspects of color, I came across an article on the website Science Daily, titled Perception Of Color Contrast, Constancy Depends On Neural “Reflexes,” Says Vision Theory.

“Color Perception is in not in the eye of the beholder, it’s in your Neural “Reflexes”

Ohhhhkay, to remotely shed any light (pun perhaps intended) on the title statement, it boils down to this: a color or even an object is a learned experience and this experience develops our perceptions. We have neurons and neural transmitters in our brains where our experience is saved, stored and visual stimuli will trigger our perception of what we see, which is actually visual stimuli from our past.

Therefore the quote is basically saying we are seeing a learned perception from our past, as opposed to what actual color is really before our eyes.


This purple colored square on white background is the same exact color throughout. But, due to being on a different background (context), that same color can be perceived as a completely different color.

…whoa…. Yes, I agree, too much baffling science for a box of Crayola’s®….

But the most intriguing aspect I see and feel about this—my perception if you will—is that what you see as red may not be what I see as red.

This and other studies have shown that even though the general consensus agrees that “that” is red, we as individuals may perceive it differently. The color we perceive is based on different sensations being triggered. What we “see” is subject to differences in context, whether in lighting, contrasts and if a color is viewed on/around different colors.

Read more about it here: ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 23, 2008,
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/11/001108075530.htm
Duke University (2000, November 8). Perception Of Color Contrast, Constancy Depends On Neural “Reflexes,” Says Vision Theory.

* Adapted from an article in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences by Duke University Medical Center neurobiologists, Beau Lotto and Dale Purves.

Another intriguing read source:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/01/020121091000.htm

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