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What exactly is the black color?

  1. Jun 21, 2013 #1
    I've asked this question on the other forum, but it seems that its rarely visited, so I decided to ask my question here.

    I'm wondering what exactly is the black color perceived by the human eye. I've read some explanations on the web, but none of them gives the exact answer.
    So, if black is an absence of information about objects, so what exactly is this that "thing" perceived by human senses?
    I know that is rather unusual question, but still I'm curious about this topic,
    thanks and have a good day
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2013 #2
    Hey Kamil, welcome to PF :smile: You're not stoned sitting around with your college buddies thinking about what the color black is, are you? I mean, it's ok with me, that's what I used to do in college. Your question is a psychophysiological one, which is kinda borderline here, but I'll try to help out anyway. First of all you're making a category mistake by saying that the color "black" reflects the absence of something. That's a perceptual-model construct that we use to classify percepts. Just because you have your eyes closed and your rods and cones aren't responding to the panoply of colors they do when they're open, doesn't mean that the visual cortex is silent. It is always active and representing in some fashion that gives meaning to your larger immediate cognitive construction of the moment. Same thing if you're, say, looking at a film noir poster or a picture of a galaxy surrounded by space. The black parts may not trigger your rods and cones, but your visual cortex is very active in incorporating that context into your larger visual construct. So, in short, blackness is not the absence of something, it's the presence of black.
  4. Jun 21, 2013 #3
    oh, i didnt noticed the topic above, sorry, this one should be deleted I guess, I'll try to take my voice in there, thanks
  5. Jun 21, 2013 #4
    DiracPool: thanks for your answer, I just noticed it :) No, I'm not stoned still I'm after a sleepless night so maybe that's the reason :)
    I'll take a time and thing bout this issue, I'll also try to read the topic at the to of the site. But your answer seems very reasonable, still there are some questions I'd like to ask, so I probably will get back to this topic after I find some spare time, thanx :)
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