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Photo Credit: romanoriginals.co.uk


02-27-15 | Posted by

What’s all the big to do about one little blue (or white) dress, depending on how you see it? Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past 24 hours or so, you must have heard about the polarizing debate on social channels about whether a picture depicts a bodycon dress as blue with black lace fringe or white with gold lace fringe. For some unexplained reason, some people see the dress as blue with black lace, while some see it as white with gold lace, and each side is adamant that they are in the right. The human brain is playing tricks on us again.

BITB talked to Meredith Jansen, OD, FAAO, Principal Research Optometrist, Beauty Platform, Johnson & Johnson Vision Care to get her expert view on how this could happen. “The dress phenomenon is not an illusion, it’s science! This is just one example of how amazingly complex the visual system is, and the numerous factors that our brain automatically interprets without us even thinking about it,” she said.

So what is the root cause of the controversy about one little blue dress?

The root cause is that not everyone sees the same way! Visual perception can change based on numerous factors that range from light and shadow, to color consistency, to the height and angle something is viewed. The visual cortex in the brain processes all this information viewed by the eyes, and translates it to the visuals you see every day. There are unlimited variations as to how the dress is shown – is it on a phone? On a computer monitor? Did you see it in bright daylight, or in a shadow? All those changes can have an effect on how you perceive something – it’s the brain’s understanding of what the eyes see.

How do you account for the wide range of people’s visual perception of color?

People see such a wide range of color because everyone views something differently, and the viewing setting is not going to be consistent for everyone. Even a group of people in a somewhat similar environment may view an image, or their surroundings, differently.

Is it true that more men tend to be colorblind than women and why is that?

It is true that more men tend to be colorblind that women. The genes that account for color vision are linked to the X chromosome. Therefore, color blindness is more common in males than in females since males only have one X chromosome.

If you’re keen to get your own little blue dress, it’s back in stock at romanoriginals.

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