Different color perception – is it normal or a deviation?

Why can we see the same colors is a different way?

The problems of color perception appeared when Tumbler published a post about an unusual chameleon-dress. Even two years after this hype, discussions about its color still trouble a lot of people. The result of different color perception depends on visual pigments. This characteristic is inborn, but it can be also acquired after injuries and neuritis. Due to these peculiarities, we can see colors differently.

The key factors that influence our color perception

The color perception is influenced by living conditions, the condition of the person at the moment, vocational training and the general state of the eyes. Physiological causes include a visual defect, such as Daltons, as well as situational mood. In a gloomy mood, a person responds to dark shades, and in a positive mood, the picture becomes sunny and cleaner.

Sophistication in defining colors also plays a very important role. This aspect may be related to natural conditions or special training. The northern peoples who live in Chukotka or Alaska distinguish many more colors of snow, as the success of hunting and survival depends on it. Professional education also plays an important part: artists have a more acute palette of perception.

It is quite enough for an ordinary person just to have a look, and he already concludes about the picture. Because of the visual culture that hits us nowadays, the amount of color information, people stop recognizing shades, they define them rather by shape. Color has ceased to be an indicator of our conditions.

Another hype about our vision

CNY Central recently posted a picture of the trainers on Twitter and invited users to tell what colors they see – pink and white or grey and green. The story of the blue-black dress repeated, and the Internet was divided into two camps.

Another hype about our vision

Naturally, social media users saw different colors. Someone thought the trainers were made of pink cloth, and someone thought they were salad. Photographers noted that the result of the picture lies in an incorrect white balance on the camera. But the questions remain, who is right?

Everything was explained by the cerebral hemispheres. If the right hemisphere dominates, the fabric part of the trainers will be pink and the rubber part will be white. If the left part of the brain prevails, the colors will be grey and green, respectively. However, according to recent research by scientists about the brain function, the concept of “dominant hemisphere” can be considered obsolete. The brain is much more complicated and its functions are not distributed in any separate site.

The answer lies in the system of a human color perception, which was developed in our process of evolution. Jay Neitz, a neuroscientist at Washington State University carried out an experiment, that proves that everybody has a different color perception. In an interview, he says about the ability of a human brain to differentiate colors. He has been making research in color perception for the latest 30 years. According to it, the current example is the most remarkable in all years of his research.

A scientific view on the problem

Man has a more developed day vision, in which we distinguish all elements of the surrounding world, including color. Light enters the eye through the lens, hitting the retina at the back of the eye. Waves of different lengths variously activate neural connections in the visual cortex, which translates signals into images. Night vision allows us to see the contours and movement of objects, but their color gamut is lost.

During the day, however, color perception is not always so unambiguous. With different lighting, the color gamut of the object is perceived differently, and the brain also takes this into account. It was noticed, probably, that the same color at dawn can seem to us pink-red, during the day – white-blue, and at sunset – red. It’s all that we perceive color in the context of its surroundings.

If you take the dress situation, those who take the light on the background for sunny, decide that the dress is in the shadows, so its light areas are blue. Someone with the same bright lighting is more familiar to see the whiteness of the dress. This is the most common version. However, the brain of about 30% of people does not take into account the light in the background at all – and in this case, the dress seems blue to them, and gold fragments then look like black.A scientific view on the problem

Thus, each person looking at trainers and dress has their own experience and concentration level, their specific eye movements. And it is also necessary to take into account the level of lighting in the room in which it looks at objects, as well as the color ranges of objects, which the brain recorded before switching attention – all this together taken and gives a difference in perception.

Is it possible to turn red into blue?

Everybody will agree that our blood is red. It is almost the same with the color of the fruit, such as strawberries, cherries and so on. But could it be that what we call “red” is for another, for example, “blue”? If we spoke about it, 10 or 20 years ago, the scientists would say that everybody sees all the colors the same.

If we speak about color perception in our brains, we must realize that the brain gets the light signal through eye cells. And the perception of it has a connection with our emotional state. Due to it, we can see the same colors differently.

This phenomenon was observed by the experiments on monkeys. Their peculiarities show that they have two types of cones in their eyes. It has something in common with Daltons. They have cones that are sensitive to two colors, green and blue. Due to the wavelength of these colors, they can’t see dots on a grey background. So they can’t distinguish red and green.

To sum up all these factors, we can claim for sure, that the perception of colors can be different. And it is not predetermined and can change throughout the whole life. When we are born, we don’t have any ideas about how to distinguish colors. We will have got it only by the age of two. So, we obtain this unique feature.

However, even though we see colors differently, our emotional response to the same colors is universal. No matter what you see, looking at the clear sky, it is the short wavelengths of light that we call the “blue” color that acts on us calming, and the long ones, that is yellow, orange and red, that stimulate us.

What are the limits of the human vision – what you can and can’t see?

Peculiar features of the human vision

If you look at the space you are in, you can find familiar objects that you face every day. Even bright colors on various objects seem to be something ordinary for us. As it known, our eyes alone are unable to form the whole picture of the surrounding reality, and vision is a much more subtle and complex function. First, the smallest light particles (photons), reflected from the objects, hit retinas of our eyes. After that about 126 million photosensitive retina cells send the reaction information to the brain for processing. There, the information is almost instantly processed, depending on the direction of refraction and the energy of the photons detected. In the brain, all this is composed into a whole picture containing a variety of shapes and shades.

Where does the edge of the human eye vision lie?

It is quite evident that our vision has limits. For instance, our eye is unable to detect radio waves or see small bacterium. It is possible only for special devices. And here is the question, that can trouble you. How to define a boundary where natural vision becomes powerless? It is possible to answer the question with the help of scientific achievements in biology and physics. Scientists believe that any visible object has a certain visual limit. Under certain conditions, our eyes cease to perceive familiar objects.Where does the edge of the human eye vision lie?

The simplest example of experiencing the limit of human vision is the ability to distinguish colors. Colors and shades, which lie within the visible spectrum, for example, purple and amaranth, are distinguished by the wavelength of the light entering the retina. The light-sensitive cells inside the eye, which are divided into two types: rods and cones, are directly involved in this process.

If the first cell type is responsible for the perception of color during the daytime, the second allows us to distinguish light grey shades at night or under dim light conditions. Both cell types contain receptors. They absorb energy and send signals to the brain via our ophtalmic nerves. After that, the complete picture is formed, and we easily distinguish purple from amaranth.

Is it possible to expand the horizon of a human eye possibilities?

Sometimes people can push the boundaries beyond “the allowed” limit and catch the reflection of ultraviolet spectrum photons. It becomes possible due to the absence of eye lens in pathologies or after undergoing a surgery. If the outer elements of a normal eye act as ultraviolet blockers (as this spectrum is harmful to humans, to verify this, try looking at the sun with a naked eye), people with such visual defect can have an expanded range of lightwave perception to 300 nanometers. It is rather interesting to note that ultraviolet radiation, in this case, is transformed into the light of white and blue visible ranges.

Recent research proves that in some ways we can visually capture infrared radiation as well. However, certain conditions need to be observed: two infrared photons must hit simultaneously the same retina cell of the eye. Scientists have found that in this case the energy of photons is summed up and falls within the visible range.

Is it harmful to read at night?

If you have ever read at night or looked at the screen of your mobile phone, especially when a child, your parents might warn you that it was rather bad for your sight. There is another widespread myth concerning children at school. There exists an opinion, that it is very easy to tell a smart child at school from the others. The person is allegedly distinguishable because he or she wears glasses. Wearing glasses implies that a child spends a lot of time at nights reading books and learning something new.

The BBC published an article that is going to debunk the myth about reading under a dim light being harmful. Myopia is one of the most widespread illnesses among people who have problems with eyes. It makes those people unable to see objects at a distance, whether it is a number of the bus or a road sign. Using glasses can solve this problem partially. However, there is no explanation why some people suffer from it, and others don’t. And one more important question is why it develops at the young age in some kids when others don’t have such a problem.

A scientific explanation of vision problems

Our eyes evolved to adjust to different levels of light. If you are trying to read in the darkness, your pupils are becoming larger. It happens so because eyes are trying to capture more light through the lens on the retinas. After the collected light energy transformation, the information collected by the cons and rods is passed further to human brain. You get the image and understanding of what you see now. Your eyes are adjusting to the light level. But sometimes people are complaining that this accommodation causes a headache and a pain in their eyes.A scientific explanation of vision problems

If you are in the darkroom, and then the light turns on, your eyes are adjusting to a new lighting level. It gives you the ability to see both in the daytime and at night. British scientists claim that the way of life can influence the development of myopia, but it is not a leading factor. It can be the result of hard work at a PC desk, but it almost has nothing to do with such factors as a child’s weight at birth or the way of life the mother have been leading during her pregnancy.

10 interesting facts about human eyes

  1. The size is important. A diameter of a human eyeball is approximately 24 mm, but it can vary because of some conditions.
  2. Eyes color. All the children are born with grey-blue eyes. And only two years after their eyes obtain their real color.
  3. Darkness and light. The human ability to see during the day and night deals with different types of retinal photoreceptors.
  4. Upside down. An object image, projected on the retina, is turned upside down. But our brain flips the image to a normal position, so we see the world and objects in a normal state. It works like a lens in a camera.
  5. Color blindness. This heritable disease was first described by John Dalton, who had found he was unable to distinguish a red color. It is more widespread among men than women.
  6. For now, it is impossible to perform full eye transplantation. Even with all the advancements of medical science, it is still impossible now.
  7. When you sneeze, your eyelids are closing. It is a protective reaction to avoid the rupture of eye capillaries.
  8. The human sight is half as sharp as that of an eagle. It is so due to the eagle vision system structure and the ability of the lens to change its curvature.
  9. According to the statistics, more than 300 million people are suffering from problems with vision. And almost 39 million people are blind.
  10. The constant use of properly selected glasses and contact lenses does not harm the wearer eyes and cannot impair the person’s vision.


What should we know about vision changes to protect your eyes?

We are getting older not only by appearance

In our youth, we do not pay much attention to our bodies. It works normally if you don’t have any chronical diseases. But its resources are limited, and over the years we do not expect the best changes, including vision problems. When to expect them and how to fight them? These questions require much research.

One change that is normal for everybody

One of the first signs of aging vision changes is Presbyterian. This is what doctors call the progressive deterioration of the eye ‘s ability to focus on closely spaced objects. In Presbyterian, it becomes difficult to read a fine font, especially in low light. To see the letters, you have to keep the book away, and the tension of the eyes is felt.

Another symptom of Presbyterian is a temporary vision deterioration when shifting a look from a close-up object to a perspective. For example, from the screen of a mobile phone – to a landscape floating in the window of a car. The problem is less noticeable with bright sunlight when the pupil becomes smaller. The reason for such changes is the solidification of the lens due to the natural reduction of the protein level, maintaining its transparency, alpha-crystalline.

temporary vision deterioration

Future woman with cyber technology eye panel concept

The risk group for developing this disease includes people over the age of 35, but usually, such changes trouble those who are over 40. It is impossible to avoid them: they will affect everyone. To a greater extent, vision changes trouble those who read a lot, work on the computer.

A feeling of blurred glass

Other changes appear much later. One of the main and widespread problems is cataracts. It is developing among those who are over 80 years old. It is caused by the blurring of the eye lens due to the accumulation of proteins or pigments, which reduce the transmission of light to the retina at the back of the eye.

Cataracts are developing slowly, sometimes over several decades, affecting one or two eyes. It is accompanied by a violation of both visual acuity and color perception. The world around becomes more faded, objects lose their outlines, and there appears a halo around them. Vision is getting worse in bright light and the dark. In severe cases, it can lead to total blindness: in 50% of cases, it is associated with lens blurring.

High blood pressure as the main reason for blindness

Under high pressure, unlike the first two conditions, glaucoma is a disease. It is caused by damage to the optic nerve and, as a result, loss of vision. Glaucoma is the second most common cause of blindness after cataracts. As a rule, glaucoma is accompanied by an increase in intraocular pressure. In such cases, the disease develops slowly, and its symptoms progress gradually. First, peripheral vision deteriorates, and then the central vision. If there is no treatment, it can lead to blindness.High blood pressure as the main reason for blindness

What other changes reduce our vision?

Aging is a natural process that affects all the organs and tissues of our bodies. And the eyes are not an exception. Some subtle changes include:

Reducing the pupils’ size. The muscles that control the pupils’ size gradually lose their strength, which leads to a narrowing of the pupil and a decrease in its response to light due to aging changes. Symptoms of such changes will be a desire to increase the illumination when reading, although, at the age of 20, almost 3 times less light was required for comfortable reading.

Dry eyes. There is a decrease in tear production with aging, which is especially typical for women during menopause. Discomfort, pain, redness and dry eyes are characteristic of a “dry eye” syndrome.

Narrowing of the vision field. A gradual loss of peripheral vision reaches 1-3 degrees per decade of life, so after 70 years, these values can be significant. This symptom is especially important for older drivers because it increases the risk of car accidents.

Reducing contrast and color vision. There is a decrease in the number of retinal cells responsible for color perception, which is manifested by a decrease in the brightness and contrast of colors, and the ability to distinguish between shades and tones decreases. People, whose profession is related to color perception – design, painting, and photography can react especially strongly to this.

If these symptoms occur, you should contact your doctor to find out the exact cause.

A modern problem that influences our eyes

NY Post published an article where researchers from the University of Toledo claimed that blue light from smartphones and tablets cause the production of poisonous molecules. Blue light has very short waves. They reach the fundus partially, and because of it, we see the image less clearly and strain our eyes. An excess of blue color increases intraocular pressure, eyes get tired and hurt.

Features of blue light affect negatively the eye retina which leads to blindness. Under the influence of blue light, there forms a pigment on the retina that destroys healthy cells and causes retinal degeneration. In this case, eye diseases that were spread among the elderly come into the lives of very young people.

The hormone melatonin is responsible for sleep. Its production is decreasing when we sit with our faces to the screen in the darkness. The body reacts to light easily: as soon as it gets dark, it is going to fall asleep. Blue light from the screen interferes with the production of melatonin, and as a result, we cannot sleep.

The blue light of gadgets does not cause DNA mutations itself, and therefore, skin cancer, as an excess of ultraviolet light. But radiation from screens impairs the ability of cells to protect themselves from UV rays, and the skin becomes more vulnerable to their attack.

A modern problem that influences our eyes

Harmful blue light is emitted not only by computer and smartphone screens. Also, some types of lamps, 3D glasses, and helmets, and cameras, e-books with lighting produce it. This does not mean that you need to be afraid of all digital technology. The main thing is to use it wisely and do not disdain protective measures.

It is possible to lead a life and save your eyes healthy. But aging processes can’t be stopped in the body. We can’t prevent them, but we can help our body to stay healthy and live longer. You should control the time you spend before the screens of gadgets and watching TV. The less time you will spend there, the fewer problems you will have by the age of 40.