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Recent research suggests that humans do not actually see colours in the same way. This would mean that what I see as red, could be seen as blue by someone else.The finding is a direct consequence of a 2009 study in Nature, where Jay Neitz of the University of Washington injected monkeys with a virus that enabled them to see the colour red for the first time, says Natalie Wolchover of Life’s Little Mysteries.
This step was remarkable, because monkeys do not posses the cones to see red, prompting the question of what the monkeys were actually seeing.
Further research revealed that colour wavelengths do not have predetermined perceptions attached to them, meaning our brains are not set to respond to colours in the same way.
However, although we may not perceive colours as the same as others, colours do prompt the same emotional reactions from us. In other words, no matter how we perceive the “blue” of the ocean, the colour’s shorter wavelengths makes us feel calm, says Wolchover.
This research is groundbreaking not only because it holds promise for the restoration of full sight to colour blind patients, it also has major philosophical ramifications for how the world is perceived.
Although this information is still very new, it has those in the science community very excited. Joseph Carrol of the Medical College of Wisconsin told Life’s Little Mysteries, “I think we can say for certain that people don’t see the same colours.”
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