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How We Perceive Colors

Have you ever wondered why your eyes see colors the way they see them? Have you ever asked yourself, “Does my friend see orange the same way I see orange?” The way our eyes perceive color is a fascinating phenomenon.

The Physics Side To Perceiving Colors

You may have learned this long ago in physics class, but here’s a quick refresher on how colors are created. First, light hits an object and the object reflects back a certain wavelength of that light. Red surfaces, for example, absorb all the colors except red which is reflected back... hence the color “red”.

The Biological Side To Perceiving Colors 

Our eyes use photoreceptors called cones to see colors. Different cones are activated by different light wavelengths. When cones are stimulated, they send signals to the brain’s visual cortex which processes all the information and pieces together a color image (in a fraction of a second). Amazing!

How Well Do YOUR Eyes Perceive and Differentiate Colors?

Now for the fun part! Click on the image below to take the Munsell 100 Hue Vision Test dragging and dropping colors in each row according to their hue order.

We can actually TRAIN our brains to perceive colors more accurately. Artists and designers who practice perceiving small variations in color usually do particularly well on the 100 Hue Vision Test.

How Did You Do On The Test?

Share this post and the test link, using your own social media accounts with friends and family to see how their scores compare to yours!

Protect Your Precious Gift Of Sight

Remember to keep your eyes healthy by visiting your Vision Source doctor regularly. Any time you have questions, please be sure to see an Optometrist.  Your eye health (and overall health) are very important! 

Click here to find a Vision Source doctor near you. 

Top image by Flickr user Ben Ostrowsky used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

Author Vision Source — Published January 22, 2015