posted on May, 9 2010 @ 03:38 AM
That's funny, I used to think about the same thing as kid. Perception of color. Is my perception of green the same as your perception of green (or
any color, really)?
Anyway, I'll try and explain chromatics and while this may not answer your question definitively, it will give you some insight or shed some
light on the subject (pun intended). I'm certainly not an expert on the subject but I'll do my best to solve this puzzle.
For objects that reflect light, rather than emit light, the color depends on the surface properties of the object and the perception of the eye and
brain. For objects that emit light, the color not only depends on the characteristics mentioned above, but also the frequency of the electromagnetic
radiation (or light) that is being emitted.
When electromagnetic radiation (or light) has a wavelength from around 400nm to 750nm, humans percieve it as visible light and the color depends on
the actual wavelength. The shorter the wavelength, the "bluer" (or violet) the light is while the longer wavelengths are red. In between the blue
and red wavelengths, is yellow. On the ends of the light spectrum, you have both infrared and ultraviolet with the former having the longest
wavelength and latter having the shortest (far ultraviolet). There are many theories as to why the different wavelengths are the colors that they are
but for brevity's sake and due to the extremely complicated subject matter, I'll digress.
If we can understand the physics of color, we can then move on to how each of us actually perceives these colors. Perception of color, is as
perception of anything else. That is, how the brain interprets what it is receiving. In this case, it is the eye that is sending the colors to the
brain, so let's take a look at the human eye. The human eye is trichromatic, meaning that the retina has three different cells or cones to interpret
light and each cone is sensitive to a different wavelength of light (color). The brain however, interprets these signals from the eye through three
opponent channels, each constructed from the output of the cones in the retina.
We can further assume that since my retina and your retina have the same construct of cones and they are both relatively identical, as far as chemical
and structural make-up (assuming that you don't have abnormalities or disabilities), we can conclude that my perception of green is the same as your
perception of green and so on. So, knowing what we now know about how the brain processes light from the retina and how color is the result of the
differing wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation and adding those with the fact that the average eye is of similar or identical construction, we can
conclude that we all pretty much perceive colors in the same way.
Edited because I mistyped "is".
[edit on 9-5-2010 by airspoon]