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Do Colors Look The Same For All Of Us?

colors colours see same

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#16    IamsSon

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:59 AM

View PostMichelle, on 18 February 2013 - 10:35 PM, said:

:D

My husband still kids me about being color blind and thinking he was white when he is mostly Native American.
:w00t:

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#17    Everdred

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 04:47 AM

Vision is based on two components: reception of light waves (via the eye) and the interpretation thereof (via the brain).  Differences in either part will naturally manifest as differences in perception.

This thread has already brought up colorblindness, which is a clear example of some people perceiving colors differently than others.  In this case, colorblindness is usually linked to defects in the eye itself, either by genetics or physical damage, though it may also be brought about by damage to the brain (in which case it falls into the realm of interpretation).

Another interesting example of differential perception has come to us from anthropological fieldwork.  Certain tribes demonstrate a unique perspective of color which seems to be rooted in the realm of interpretation.  One such tribe is the Himba of Namibia.  The beginning of this clip (which is part of a larger BBC documentary on the subject) gives a good look into the different way they interpret colors:

http://www.dailymoti...ms#.USMAD6XZjJ0

This, then, raises another interesting question: what is the cause of the difference in interpretation?  Some posit that their different terminology affects the way their brains interprets the colors, while others posit that the way their brains interpret the colors has shaped their color vocabulary.


#18    lightly

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 12:41 PM

after 35 years or so of asking people...  " do you see green in that?"    And having them answer .. no  it  just looks brown .. or blue.. or gray...   I'm convinced people's color perceptions  vary.. a little.   (color Blindness aside)       ^ same thing with orange^   except then they say... no  it just looks brown.. or Gold..    I seem to see more green AND orange in colors.

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#19    Frank Merton

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 01:23 PM

As one of the earlier posts mentioned, this is the "qualia" issue in neurology -- how we come to experience the world rather than just sense it.  It has to do with far more than just our visual perception of color, although that aspect of the problem gets the most attention, probably because it is easiest to understand.

There are people who smell or hear colors rather than see them.  This is rare but is a significant clue that all is not what we think it is.  There are optical illusions that can make us see certain colors that can be shown are not there.

The same things happen will all our senses, both external (vision, hearing, taste, smell, and the million and one senses we call touch) and internal (pain, nausea, hunger, sexual arousal, kinesthetics, etc).  We hear pitches and loudness and identify where a sound is coming from; we see color and brightness and hue and motion and contrast; etc., etc.  All this is constructed in our brain and presented to our mind.  The scientists can trace the pathways and which neurons are busy when such-and-so are perceived, but how does a neuron doing its thing become our experience of a color?  Standard reductionism -- materialist, physicalist "there exists nothing paranormal" comes to a dead end here -- which is I think why the standard reductionist in discussing this issue inevitably stone-walls it.

Nor does it end with sensations.  Far more important, in fact, is that the same issue is wrapped up in the business or emotions.  When we feel anger or sadness or emptiness or jealousy, and so on, what is going on?  These  are experiences, not neurons and neurochemicals.  The scientist can associate the presence of certain brain chemicals with our experience of certain feelings -- happiness is associated with the presence of lots of serotonin.  What the Hell is going on that this physical thing becomes an experience?

I have no ax to grind on this -- I just present the problem and the fact that it tells me that there is a lot in this world we humanis scientificus have no approach to.  It is to my mind a demonstration of nothing more than that the universe has properties we don't even suspect, but which natural selection nevertheless tapped into in our evolution.


#20    DieChecker

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Posted 19 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

I think the color of an object is a direct result of the surface, material and texture of an object. That someone sees a green leaf as red in their mind, but understands it to actually be green does not mean that the leaf is any less green. Physically it is green.

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#21    NO-ID-EA

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

when we are children our mothers point to something and say that is the blue sea , or that is a green tree , at that point in time though there is no way for either the mother or the child to know whether their brains are seeing the reflection of those light vibrations the same way, but once the child has been shown all the colours it does not matter , because whatever vibration his/her brain receives from those reflections he now knows what to call them.. so even if other people see a different reality to that reflection they will all call that reflection by the same name , even if their reception of it gives them a different perception ..

I do think however we probably all see the same colours , as when we mix colours ourselves , ie take blue , and yellow paint and mix them we get green , or red and yellow to get orange , presumably if we were all seeing different shades when we saw the reflections then we would not be able to mix colours to make a new one we all recognize as the same .


#22    EllJay

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:41 PM

Here is a few tests for those of you who think that they might be colour blind.


Posted Image

Posted Image


Posted Image

Edited by EllJay, 20 February 2013 - 03:42 PM.

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#23    Michelle

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 03:58 PM

I can see one of those, EliJay. When I was tested they showed me 36 circles and I could only see the numbers in three of them. Between the three people who worked there they had 70 years of experience and said they had never seen anyone so color blind. B)


#24    EllJay

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:13 PM

View PostMichelle, on 20 February 2013 - 03:58 PM, said:

I can see one of those, EliJay. When I was tested they showed me 36 circles and I could only see the numbers in three of them. Between the three people who worked there they had 70 years of experience and said they had never seen anyone so color blind. B)

Ouch, to bad for you. Does everything look kind of greenish-brown to you or?

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"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand... "

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#25    Michelle

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 04:35 PM

View PostEllJay, on 20 February 2013 - 04:13 PM, said:

Ouch, to bad for you. Does everything look kind of greenish-brown to you or?

I think I see primary colors pretty close to what they are. After that I can see things are a different shade sometimes, but it's difficult to tell what color they lean towards. Like large oranges and small grapefruit side by side in the grocery store, I have to smell them to see which is which if they don't have a sign. I can see bright colors...I may not know exactly what they are, but I can see them. Needless to say, I've had some weird combinations of colors in my house over the years if I try and pick things out by myself. :D


#26    JesseCuster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:18 PM

View PostMichelle, on 18 February 2013 - 08:54 PM, said:

I know lots of artists and they can discern and mix colors exactly from what I'm told.
I know a talented graphic designer who is red-green colour blind and has to take great pains to make sure he hasn't screwed up the subtler shades like pastel greens and pinks, anything with subtler shades of red and green in them.

Edited by Archimedes, 20 February 2013 - 05:36 PM.

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#27    EllJay

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:20 PM

View PostMichelle, on 20 February 2013 - 04:35 PM, said:

I think I see primary colors pretty close to what they are. After that I can see things are a different shade sometimes, but it's difficult to tell what color they lean towards. Like large oranges and small grapefruit side by side in the grocery store, I have to smell them to see which is which if they don't have a sign. I can see bright colors...I may not know exactly what they are, but I can see them. Needless to say, I've had some weird combinations of colors in my house over the years if I try and pick things out by myself. :D

Ok, well it doesn't sound that bad then. I thought everything was a green-brown-redish mess for you. :)

"Opinions are like a**holes, everyone seems to have one" - Dirty Harry

"All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand... "

"I have a black belt in Feng Shui, the subtle martial art. I go home to you and move a lamp and a chair... twelve years later you lay there on the floor with broken kneecaps and destitute."

#28    Frank Merton

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:23 PM

One of the most common mistakes a Vietnamese will make speaking English is something like, "We have to wait here at the red light until it turns blue."

This is because it takes a circumlocution to distinguish green and blue -- not that the Vietnamese don't see it but that the language does not require you make the distinction unless for some reason you want to.

I wonder if maybe blue/green colorblindness might have something to do with this characteristic of the language -- I have no knowledge that it is more or less common here -- or if there might be some other reason.


#29    FLOMBIE

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:27 PM

I have noticed the exact same phenomena in Japan, Frank Merton. I was always wondering why. Upon asked, they simply answered: "It's the same." But I also have to say that the japanese traffic-light-green has a blue tint; it is almost turquoise.

There is also a cocktail called "Chinese Blue" and it's green.

Edited by FLOMBIE, 20 February 2013 - 05:31 PM.


#30    JesseCuster

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Posted 20 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

View PostEllJay, on 20 February 2013 - 03:41 PM, said:

Here is a few tests for those of you who think that they might be colour blind.


Posted Image

58     18
??     ??

Quote

Posted Image
25    29
45   56
??   3/8 (not sure)


Quote

Posted Image
12    5
3     3
29    15

"The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool." - Richard P. Feynman





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