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posted by LaminatorX on Saturday February 28 2015, @07:51PM   Printer-friendly
from the Do-mine-eyes-deceive-me? dept.

Color scientists already have a word for it: Dressgate. Now the Washington Post reports that a puzzling thing happened on Thursday night consuming millions — perhaps tens of millions — across the planet and trending on Twitter ahead of even Jihadi John’s identification. The problem was this: Roughly three-fourths of people swore that this dress was white and gold, according to BuzzFeed polling but everyone else said it's dress was blue. Others said the dress could actually change colors. So what's going on? According to the NYT our eyes are able to assign fixed colors to objects under widely different lighting conditions. This ability is called color constancy. But the photograph doesn’t give many clues about the ambient light in the room. Is the background bright and the dress in shadow? Or is the whole room bright and all the colors are washed out? If you think the dress is in shadow, your brain may remove the blue cast and perceive the dress as being white and gold. If you think the dress is being washed out by bright light, your brain may perceive the dress as a darker blue and black.

According to Beau Lotto, the brain is doing something remarkable and that's why people are so fascinated by this dress. “It’s entertaining two realities that are mutually exclusive. It’s seeing one reality, but knowing there’s another reality. So you’re becoming an observer of yourself. You’re having tremendous insight into what it is to be human. And that’s the basis of imagination.” As usual xkcd has the final word.

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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01 2015, @03:31AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 01 2015, @03:31AM (#151398)

    There's another aspect to this too: everyone is looking at this photo on LCD screens.

    I thought maybe the same thing. Until I showed it to my wife on my LCD screen. No matter what angle she looked at it it appears to her as white/gold. It is blue/brownish to me. When I told her I saw it as a lightish blue color she thought I was nuts.

    There is a bit more here than an optical illusion or LCD angle.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @12:51AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 02 2015, @12:51AM (#151687)

    Showed my wife the picture again. "now that one is blue". "its the same picture" "waaaah your messing with me" Still the same shade of blue every time for me...