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Never before seen colors

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posted on Mar, 6 2007 @ 11:37 AM
I was wondering at what stage of our perceiving of light is the color processed? I know that it is the rods responsible for interpreting colors, and I was thinking about this idea that we all perceive the same colors as being different, which leads me to: is it the rods or the brain that would be responsible for these differentiations?

The reason I ask is because of Jerry Orbach. The actor, recently deceased, donated his eyes to the medical community, and each one was given to a different person that already had one functioning eye. If his rods and cones were different than those of the people his eyes were going to, what must that be like for them? Do they see two sets of color and light data that are somehow jumbled together in their brain? At the very least, we know from a previous reply that there are different levels at which we can perceive color differences, so would these two people have two different versions of gradations in their head? What if they look at a red sign with one eye, then close that eye and open the other, only to see something that is made up of a variety of reds and oranges? And maybe those people, when they open that other eye, see green instead of the red they are accustomed to on that sign.

Of course, it's likely that the eye has far less to do with it than the brain, in which case nothing has changed for them. I think that would be rather sad. The opportunity to experience the world for the first time lost because of a stupid brain.

Also, I don't remember the exact details of what I'm about to reference, but I once saw a show on the discovery channel about creatures that live in marshes, and they spoke of a particular kind of shrimp thats eyes are so advanced, it absorbs sixteen different wavelengths of light instead of just the boring three. This thing must be able to differentiate billions and billions of different shades. Again, wasted on a stupid brain.

posted on Mar, 7 2007 @ 12:26 PM
I've thought about this recently too, but dismissed it. I just don't see it as possible... colors seem to perfect the way they are. Plus when u look at prisms and that sort of thing all possible colors come out of the white light.

Kind of reminds me of the book The Giver, where they live in a utopia where everyone sees black and white only, then when the main character sees an apple change to red he has trouble explaining what he saw. He was saying things like it changed but not shape or size... just changed in an unexplainable way. When you think about anything with that in mind it really allows you to question it. How could you explain or understand a change like that when you have never experienced it.

Still I think there are only red, blue, yellow, black and white and everything in between and that is all there is to it. They exist on a set scale just like numbers.

I don't think we see different colors from one another, but I do think we have different perceptions of contrast. What I mean by this is sometimes when you are in a dark room or a room with a weird light the color looks different from what it actually is. I think you eyes automatically adjust to white values like cameras do so sometimes things look a certain color only because you are comparing it to white, when in some cases your comparison is thrown off because you aren't comparing to 'true white'. So people who are color blind just have poorer contrast ability. Im gonna stop before my head explodes.

There are examples of this type of thing like when you look at a photo with the colors inverted then switch right away to the black and white image, the image will appear to be in color for a few seconds before your eyes adjust.

I didn't read anything but the first page so forgive me if I'm repeating ideas

PS You can guess I've tasted some colors

posted on Mar, 7 2007 @ 12:47 PM
I'm color impaired of the red-green variety. My world is a very different colored place than yours and I'd be as pleased as Punch to see it the way normal folks do.

By the way, if you want to see colors you've never seen before, visit a paint store or a cosmetics counter sometime.

Can you say, "Burnt Umber?"

posted on Mar, 7 2007 @ 01:19 PM

Originally posted by iggster
You know it is nearly impossible for us to imagine a different color as our brains can only process what we know.
There is one thing about color that I would like to bring up though.
I see red and then you identify the same object that I am looking at as red. That is easy. we have been trained. But what if my hue of red if you were to see it through my eyes you would actually see black or brown or a totally dif color?
We have been trained since a young age that for instance your parent would say "this color ball is red" So from there on when you saw that same shade of color you knew it was red. Now what if I could see through your spectrum and that shade to me looked like actually brown or purple?
Just food for thought.

This is a neat point, and I have noticed it echo throughout the thread in one way or another, but I think it's pretty wrong. YES, we have no way to know for sure that we all precieve the world the same but Red to Brown or Purple is a far stretch. Isn't color determined by refraction, light wont refract differently for different people. Or is it the way we process the image different, I doubt it would be that different. I have seen different shades out of either eye my whole life, but thats just shades of colors and they are not that far off.

Take the next leap how can you say you are seing the same OBJECT. I say theres an apple and we are all conditioned to know what an apple is so that's what it is. But, how do you know you aren't really seeing what looks like an orange to me? It sounds like rubish (and it is) but it's the same thing as "how do we know we are seeing the same color?" right?

posted on Aug, 9 2010 @ 07:02 PM
I think that it is very possible to see colors never seen before. For example.. infrared and ultraviolet are at the two ends of the spectrum that we cannot see. Some snakes use infrared sensors to see the heat coming off their prey. I don't know if any animals use ultraviolet to see but my point is, do you think its completely impossible to see these colors as a result of mutation? I heard somewhere (might have been on this thread when I read it earlier) that most humans are trichromatic, meaning three sensors in our eyes each process a primary color (red, yellow, and blue) but a select few people can sense another color. I did some research on it and its called tetrachromatic, and one woman who has the ability says that when she looks at a rainbow, she sees 12 colors instead of 7. If anyone on ATS is tetrachromatic it'd be very interesting to talk to them..

posted on Aug, 10 2010 @ 04:18 PM
I suppose it depends on how you define "seeing color".

Humans see in the visible light spectrum. I think all possible colors -- as we define the term -- are part of this visible light spectrum, and therefore all can be/have been experienced before.

However, if there is a life form that can sense (i.e,. "see") other electromagnetic radiation I suppose what is seen by that life form can be akin to seeing a color that no human has ever seen (or can see).

I would have to say that the short answer is "No". Humans cannot see a never-before-seen color. What "color" that life form is sensing would probably be impossible to explain to us and as incomprehensible as the color "red" is to a person who has been totally blind all his/her life.

[edit on 8/10/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]

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