#BlackandBlue vs #WhiteandGold is all about #RodsandCones

CookieMonsterWavingSo provided that you are still married/in a relationship after being shown a picture of a Black-Blue/White-Gold dress… Maybe a little science is in order… let’s talk rods and cones for a moment.  In your eye you have rods and cones and by eye I am specifically taking about your retina. Cones detect and interpret color and are less light-sensitive while rods help determine shapes and are more sensitive to light. At night you are relying more on rods than cones to see which is why colors can seem different at night.

Since people have differing amounts of rods and cones in their retinas the dress picture can appear different from person to person.  This has to with the lighting conditions of the photo, the room you are in, as well as the colors the photo is in contrast with.  If you have a lot of time on your hand try looking at the picture in bright light, then go int a dark room until your eyes adjust and look at the picture again…  you will probably notice a color change because your eye is relying on rods more than cones.

Photographers deal with this issue frequently and have found ways to counter lighting bias in their environment so that the pictures they take turn out how they intend them to by altering the lighting hue that is effecting the picture.  In the case of the of the dress picture if you see blue/black your brain is ignoring the yellow hue of the lighting, if you see White/Gold your brain is ignoring the blue hue of the lighting.  This is what the white balance setting on your fancy camera does… your brain just happens to do it automatically… without warning you to the detriment of your interpersonal relationships… it seems.

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