Eye thought eye knew


Have you ever thought that you are the only one who sees a blue sky? A red cardinal? An orange fire? You could be. Updated technology shows that how we perceive color my be different then other people. In kindergarten we are taught to call certain colors certain names. The light that is reflected off your shoes makes you see your blue shoes. Your friend also calls them your blue shoes. But how do we know if your friend sees ‘your’ blue just because they have been taught to call it the same thing.

Primordially, color perception was set in stone. The banana is yellow, the snow is white, and those were the same colors every single person would see the same way (without any vision defects like color blindness). Today with advanced technology and new ideas, the stones have shifted and our knowledge of how colors our seen through our eyes have furthered. It would be as though color wheel is rotated or flipped in relation to everyone.

In our brains we have three different kinds of cone cells which are one of the three types of photoreceptor cells in our retina that are responsible for color vision. We have blue, green, and red cone cells. When we are a baby, the neurons in our brain aren’t set to a default for how to perceive color. Since there is no certain way our body reacts to perceiving the colors, as we grow, we perceive our own unique take on them.

Colors are differentiated by the way our brain reacts to certain wavelengths of light. We were taught in school that certain wavelengths are matched to certain colors, but the wave lengths may not be associated with the same color as the person sitting next to you. Both of you could look at something with the same wavelengths but ‘see’ different colors.

The way we see light has not changed. Light hits an object, some of that light is absorbed, and the rest is reflected off. The color that is reflected is what is light sensitive to the cone cells in your retina. Cone cells, depending which ones are more sensitive to light, can allow us to look at the same thing but see different colors because of the difference in our sensitivity levels.

Although we may see different colors, the name we call a color and the feeling the color gives us stays the same throughout everyone. Individual perceptions of the colors do not change the universal emotion associated with the color. Short wavelengths are more calming while high wavelengths are more alarming colors. Even the slightest bit of change in nanometers of the wavelengths can drastically change the way we see that light. Physical parts of your body can alter how you see your colors, along with your mood, feelings, and memory can also determine your perception.

Look around, try to imagine that your neighbor sees everything is a different way then you. They might see your red in their sky, or your white on the grass and they would try to imagine what their green would look like on your grass. Since our emotional attachment to certain light allows us all to feel the same way about a word allows us to be coherent with all different colors no matter what color your shoes are.