"Just because you don't see it doesnt mean it isn't there"--i just sat down to type this essay, listening to music and that was one of the lines of a song---kind of interesting considering that was kind of what i was planning to type about. I am getting myself confused about the whole concept of color. That is what it is, right? a concept. and idea. i'm just going to ramble a little because i can't seem to organize my thoughts.

i mean, what exaclty is color?????? in class, we discussed any three arrangements of monochromatic light could arrange themselves to produce the same color as one other monochromatic light. but the brain creates the categories of color so who's to say that i am not seeing an entirely DIFFERENT green than the next person. maybe it is just that our brains have labelled that specific wavelength green. if we defined categories to be simple circuits of neurons then there is no way that anyone's category is going to be the same. no one has identical neurons and certainly not identical circuits. if we did, then where would autonomy fit in? it is the uniqueness of neural circuits that can account for many differences in behavior so obviously our circuitry differences are going to influence our perception of color. so what happens when i'm weaing a purple shirt (or so I think so) and someone says "nice blue shirt"?? is it that we are: 1) using different categories of "purple" and "blue" 2)there are differences in our photoreceptors 3)different photons have been activated by the same wavelength (is that possible? ie. one is more sensitive to 500nm) i understand how drastic differences in color can be explained, like red/green colorblindness, buthow do we account for the little differences?

Not too confused, I don't think. Yep, color is a "concept", an "idea", a "category" which results from the way the nervous system is organized, beginning with the photoreceptors themselves. A particular red (long before it gets a name) is a particular pattern of activity in the photoreceptors, which does not always result from the same photons. If someone else reports it differently, they might be using a different name for the same pattern of activity or might have a different pattern of activity because they have different photoreceptors or pigments or patterns of connections. That help with the little differences? Is sort of amazing there aren't more BIG differences than there are, huh? PG