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How do we perceive colors? [Video]
posted January 10 2013 18:15.56 by Giorgos Lazaridis

You probably know the 3 basic colors, Red, Green and Blue. They are called basic colors because if you mix them in the right proportions, any other color can be made. This sounds somewhat magic, and also raises a question (it did to me!): How do we know that these are the basic colors? How did we discovered it in the first place?

Well, after some research that I've done i came up with something unexpected: The three basic colors exist only because our eyes have them! Which confused me even more. Here is the fact: Our eyes have multiple color receptors at the retina. There receptors can be excited by either red, green or blue light. Similar to the RGB TV signal, each color in nature is translated into different proportions of Red, Green and Blue. Then our brain interprets these proportions to the millions of different colors and shades.

And all this puts me into thinking: So the white color is a reality only for those who have RGB receptors? Well, probably yes, and this explains also why some animals can see the infrared spectrum.

I'm kinda sloppy in dressing, and my mom always used to tell me that "blue and black does not fit". After 35 years i still cannot get what she meant, but now i can answer to her that "blue and black may fit to my dog's eyes"...

[Link: TedEd]

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