Non-trivial discussions about the blue dress and implications

My personal experience is the following: Blue and brownish, it's always been the same for me and hasn't changed. I sat next to my wife as it changed for her and she was able to see Blue and brown and then back again. I ran some tests on her using sub-threshold stimulus and changing frequency to the eye, like looking at something on the other side of a propeller. Neither changed the temporal perception. It isn't a perception problem of the mind, it is an issue of transduction at the sensor, as your Rods (black and white) fight your Cones (color) the rods begin to attenuate and those that see white eventually see the blue as the firing rate of the cones overtake the firing rate of the rods in less than ideal lighting situations. It is probable that people w/ bad night vision will see white and gold, when clearly it is a light blue w/ a brown/titanium. If you switched eyes with someone that saw different from you, you would see it. So it isn't your consciousness screwing with you, but your eyes.

There is no visual illusion here and it isn't a matter of lighting. The problem hasn't even reached your brain yet as I explain above. What is interesting though are people that see white/gold scroll down the web page only to find that the same picture is now blue and bronze when they scroll back to the same exact image from only a few moments earlier. The "switch" is probably a machination of the mind and brain. The slow processing of the rod/cone in the eye of the white/gold group continues to send information to the brain and unconscious. The delay in your conscious awareness is a lag time where your unconscious is processing all of the known information before presenting it to your conscious awareness.

What I'm going to say is based on a fixed environment, where you are looking at the same picture, in the same lighting but the image switches for you. I would postulate that anyone that has only seen blue will not ever see a switch to white/gold. But many that see white/gold will switch and see black/brown eventually.

The Geeky Stuff: There is some discussion now that this may be an effect of what is known as Subtractive and Additive Mixtures of color. However, bear in mind that there isn't dispute about the the hue or saturation of the blue or brown/black. The response is overwhelmingly binary, white or blue. Rods can only see black, white, grey and shadows. Cones are differentiated by type as RGB, which is where color mixing would happen in differentiating or characterizing the stimuli. What the binary response of the respondents appears to point towards is a very fast response of the rods to the stimuli. Therefore, the activity of the rods are being communicated to the brain much faster than the activity of the cones initially. Rods are far more sensitive than cones. There are 100 Rods connecting to 1 neuron/ganglion cell, whereas Cones are much less. Rods also require a much lower amount of ambient light to overcome their threshold to respond compared to cones, which require far more lighting to overcome their threshold to respond. Regardless of the brightness of the screen the image was viewed on, the saturation of the image or the contrast different people saw a different color looking at the same picture. Naturally, there is a difference between people in their ability to process color in low light and illuminated conditions. Some people's eyes are far better at processing color information than others in low light conditions. If the ambient conditions where the picture was viewed was low light, then the rods would have had greater sensitivity, therefore you would have seen White/Gold. If the Ambient conditions were well lit, then a greater percentage of viewers would have responded Blue/Brown because the environment would have allowed the cones to have more stimuli to respond and go above their threshold. At it's core, those that saw White/Gold will eventually see Blue/Brown. And those that only saw Blue/Brown have fast adapting cones that were able to process and identify the color blue at a nanometer wavelength threshold far lower than the other group. [Reference From: Sensation and Perception, Matlin and Foley]

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