Optical Illusions and our Perception of Color

A fun and mind-boggling TED Talk,  that will interest anyone who thinks they can see color- especially artists and synesthetes!

“Color enables us to see the similarities and differences between surfaces, according to the full spectrum of light that they reflect. But what you’ve just done is, in many respects, mathematically impossible. Why? Because, as Berkeley tells us, we have no direct access to our physical world, other than through our senses. And the light that falls onto our eyes is determined by multiple things in the world — not only the color of objects, but also the color of their illumination, and the color of the space between us and those objects. You vary any one of those parameters, and you’ll change the color of the light that falls onto your eye.

This is a huge problem because it means that the same image could have an infinite number of possible real-world sources.”

“Color tells us… that the brain didn’t actually evolve to see the world the way it is. We can’t. Instead, the brain evolved to see the world the way it was useful to see in the past. And how we see is by continually redefining normality.”

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