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The way you see colour depends on what language you speak

How our life experiences change the way we perceive colours.

Pexels, CC BY-ND
Pexels, CC BY-ND

The human eye can physically perceive millions of colours. But we don’t all recognise these colours in the same way.

Some people can’t see differences in colours – so called colour blindness – due to a defect or absence of the cells in the retina that are sensitive to high levels of light: the cones. But the distribution and density of these cells also varies across people with “normal vision” causing us all to experience the same colour in slightly different ways.

Besides our individual biological make up, colour perception is less about seeing what is actually out there and more about how our brain interprets colours to create something meaningful. The perception of colour mainly occurs inside our heads and so is subjective – and prone to personal experience.

Take for instance people with synaesthesia, who are able to experience the perception of colour with letters and numbers. Synaesthesia is often described as a joining of the senses – where a person can see sounds or hear colours. But the colours they hear also differ from case to case.

Another example is the classic Alderson’s checker-shadow illusion. Here, although two marked squares are exactly the same colour, our brains don’t perceive them this way.

Even though squares A and B are exactly the same colour, our brain interprets them as different. By derivative work: Sakurambo, CC BY-ND
Even though squares A and B are exactly the same colour, our brain interprets them as different. By derivative work: Sakurambo, CC BY-ND

Read the full story HERE >>>> Source: The Conversation The way you see colour depends on what language you speak