Friday, February 27, 2015

The Science of Why No One Agrees on the Color of This Dress

This photo blew up the Internet last night we some people seeing a white and gold dress and some others seeing a blue and black one. I saw white and gold.


Wired describes The Science of Why No One Agrees on the Color of This Dress. Everyone does agree it's ugly.

Update: Vice Asked a Color Vision Expert About the Color of that Dress "Finally, I called up Dr. Jay Neitz, PhD, a color vision researcher at the University of Washington..."Why is this happening? I don't know. This is one of the most fascinating color vision things I've seen in a long time.""

It's important for me to tell you that Dr. Neitz has been working in the field of color vision research for about 35 years. He runs a renowned laboratory called the Neitz Color Vision Lab. He has a Wikipedia page. And he had no fucking clue what was going on with this photo of a dress.

That's likely what's going on with the photo here: The photo was probably taken in blueish lighting, which makes your brain think that the dress is actually white. That makes sense. What doesn't make sense is why some peoples' brains perceive this as blue and others perceive this as white. Dr. Neitz specifically studies individual differences in how people see, and he'd never seen anything like this.

"In general, you're going to see differently than the person next to you. But this is a huge difference. I mean, this really takes the cake."

"Now I'm going to spend the rest of my life working on this," he told me. "I thought I was going to cure blindness, but now I guess I'll do this."

Even more fun, Shoppers found the color-changing dress on Amazon. Their reviews are amazing. Go to the actual Amazon page for more.

And as Kim pointed out in the comments below, xkcd has a good take on it today, xkcd: Dress Color


Kim said...

I see blue and brownish. Todays xkcd has a good take on this.

paul said...

OK I saw this someplace else this morning, I saw blue and dark brown. Just looked at your blog, saw it white and gold. Scrolled down, then scrolled back up and it was blue and brown.

Howard said...

Yeah it's just white and gold to me. It looks like it's exposed badly so the white has a slightly bluish hue, but to me it's definitely white. The gold? Absolutely gold, I have no idea how that looks black to anyone.

Karl said...

I got lilac and tan. After looking at the other pictures of it, it came across as a faded blue/black, but returned to lilac/tan after doing something else for a while. I suppose this means I'm highly suggestible with a short attention span.