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Lauren McD's picture

Color

I really enjoyed discussing vision this week in class, as it's something that we all take for granted without truly understanding it. The most interesting aspect of vision that we touched upon this week for me was the topic of color. It's interesting that color is not a physical property of the world, but instead a construction of the brain. This idea has plenty of examples that help support its statement. Dogs don't see in color, but humans do. Therefore, there must be some physical difference between dogs and humans in the brain that allows only us to see color. Also, in a dark room, it is impossible to distinguish different colors because no there is no light to reflect off the objects. This is a counterintuitive idea, but an easy one to understand because of the many examples in everyday life. We talked in class about how we only see color if our cone system is activated. I remember doing an experiment in high school biology in which an object was put in an observer's periphery vision, and the observer stated whether he saw the color first or the shape of the object first. I don't remember the outcome of the experiment, but either outcome would suggest that cones are more densely compacted in one area of the eye and rods in another. Is there some sort of evolutionary advantage to this? I found it truly interesting that we analyzed how we 'see' color, and I look forward to analyzing other senses.

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