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Is my blue the same as your blue?

  1. Apr 15, 2015 #1
    Hi All,

    Is my blue the same as your blue ? and why ?

  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 15, 2015 #2
  4. Apr 18, 2015 #3
    Did you know that the color blue is usually the last color to be given a name in a language? One theory is the lack of an blue artificial dye in early civilization, so there was no need to talk about it. There are some women called Tetrachromats who have four types of cones. Some of these women can see colors people with three cones cannot see. Some see as normal people. One theory is that the colors that the fourth cone can see where not used early in life and the brain was not trained to use this information. "Radio Lab" NPR Sat 4/18/15. That begs the question If a person is color deprived in early childhood how does that affect their color perception?

    I also heard that in languages that did or do not have a word for blue, referred to that color as white. So maybe your blue is not the same as mine. Could this explain why some people choose weird color combinations?
  5. Apr 18, 2015 #4
    I always wonder whats the mental translation of the chemicals we receive from the cons, lets say all people release the same combination of chemicals when a blue light hits the cones, but do all people have the same mental translation of this chemicals.
  6. Apr 19, 2015 #5


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    We canot help thinking that there is such experienced thing or quality as ' blueness' though we find it impossible to communicate or demonstrate that this the same for you as for me. Some would deny it has any meaning. And if we say a word too many Evo will block the thread.
    But it is undeniable that we agree on what things we call blue (there are some differences in classification between different cultures and languages). Not only, even if your blue is my red and this meant something, our emotional reactions to blue would still be the same because the sky would be blue, leaves would be green, and blood, poisonous toadstools and other danger signals would still be red for both of us.
  7. Apr 19, 2015 #6
    Sometimes people will differ in their opinion of a colour, so therefore perception of colour does vary in ways other than physiological conditions like colour blindness.
    I distinctly remember describing a woman friend's dress as blue, and to my eyes it was definitely a shade of blue,
    She however saw it as a shade of green an was equally sure about it.
  8. Apr 19, 2015 #7
    She could be a Tetrachromat one who has four types of cones which allow them is see a shade of yellow most people cannot see. This condition is unique to a small group of women. You test for this condition by putting this shade into a pattern of mixed colors and ask the person to distinguish between that pattern and and identical one without that shade included.
  9. Apr 21, 2015 #8
    So then how do people see white the same? How do our eyes adjust for "white balance"?
  10. Apr 21, 2015 #9
    Well 'white' is a fairly even spread over the visible spectrum, so I guess it's the one colour most people will agree on.
    Having said that though there simply is no way to 'download' what one person perceives so that another person sees the same.
    Best we can do is agree on what 'label' best describes what is seen.
  11. Apr 21, 2015 #10
    I guess my point is if white is a combination of many colours, someome who sees a particalur hue of blue different (materially of course) than the majority, would see white differently too, infact that would be true for any color that is a combination of the red/green/blue (and I guess sometimes yellow?) rods.
  12. Apr 22, 2015 #11
    That thing about needing words to "see" colors seems very strange to me. Plenty of animals can see colors. If you can't tell the difference between blue and white, then how do you see clouds? I read the article about the guy who brought up his kid without telling (her?) that the sky was blue, but it is possible that the child didn't understand that the sky was being referred to and thought that the father was pointing at empty space. (Did he teach her the "color" of glass?)
  13. Apr 22, 2015 #12
    How about a difference in brightness.
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