What you call “Red” is someone else’s “Blue”

Have you ever thought that something was really spectacular and you rush up to tell someone about what you saw, but they don’t have the same reaction as you see and you might even wonder if they saw what you pointed out at? Is it because everyone looks at the same thing and find something different about it? Is it because your color spectrum was completely different from others? What will be the case if two people call out the same name of a color but their eye sees different colors?

About one in twelve males and one in hundred females suffers from color blindness which makes them to confuse between the colors orange and red, for example. Research tells us that there is a slight difference in perception of colors between men and women, even between different ages of people or even between anyone in this world. Scientists have led a new research stating that everyone do not see the same colours when they look at the same things. Colour perception may not be predetermined like how we believed it for thousands of years. But instead of framing a set of patterns for colour perception, it may be decided by the outside world.

“There is one color, where certain people call it as brown, other calls it as red and sometimes they even call it as orange. It is because we have thought to call the same name for different color.”

Eventhough most of us believe that the color  red is the color for stop signs, scientists now doubt that one person’s red could really be other person’s blue. The reason is that each person’s brain reacts differently to different wavelengths of light by which the brain differentiates colors.

Even factors such as present mind state, situations and circumstances can affect the way we look at things. It changes the perception of colors. Other major factor which affects the color perception is the physical body which processes the information from the outside world. Most of us have three photoreceptors located behind our eyes which collects the information regarding red, green and blue color. Rarely some people will have a fourth photoreceptor which helps them to see the spectrum of colors with high sensitivity than an average person. Such people are called as tetrachromats. These photoreceptors seems to vary accordingly with their corresponding wavelengths which seems to be highly sensitive. Some people may have red-photoreceptors which is sensitive to a range of wavelengths given around 564nm, where others are sensitive to a range around 568nm. This might seem like there’s not much difference between them. But, this slight difference in the sensitivity results as blue versus green or other such versions of colors. In simple words, when light with certain properties of color is made to fall on my eyes will not be the same case with your eyes as we have different photoreceptors.

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Cognitive physiologists’ state that the color perception differs from people to people on the basis of how their brains are wired together and tells that the colors are not arbitrary. In some cases people also experience color in similar ways. For example, white seems to be the color of innocence to everyone. People wear bright coloured dresses during festive occasions. Some of the color patterns will be biologically induced by the way the nerves are wired inside the brain. Some of the color patterns are identified by the frequency ranges of different colors associated with different objects in our surroundings.

Moreover everything depends on how we receive the color from an object and the way our brain sees an object with respect to the surroundings. An example of such perception of color is given in the above picture where the brain uses contextual relationships when you look at that picture. Hence, we all have different ways of thinking about different things depending upon the perception of colors.


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