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color in this photograph of a cow is not balanced
at all (the left side is bluish and the right side
has too much yellow). To restore the balance, stare
at the fly in the second diagram for thirty seconds,
then look at the cow again...
you fixate your gaze on the fly in the right image
for 10 to 30 seconds: this staring will selectively
adapt the blue versus yellow color channels of your
retina in your left versus right visual field. As
a result, your left visual field will become less
sensitive to blue and your right visual field less
sensitive to yellow. Then look back at the fly on
the cow’s nose, and the image will appear to
have a perfect color balance. This illusion helps
to explain why objects look the same color under
different lighting environments. For example, your
shirt looks the same under incandescent lighting
and under sunlight (these two light sources have
different color spectra): part of the system that
produces color constancy in our perception also plays
a role in this slide’s illusion. Notice, too,
that the color-selective adaptation is still constrained
to a single eye: if you close one eye during the
adaptation period and then switch eyes while looking
at the cow, the color balance will revert to blue/yellow
in the unadapted eye (source: Sciam).
can use the image above in your non-commercial web
page for free as long as you leave the copyright and
author's info intact and link to
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information regarding the reproduction and licensing rights.
A. Sarcone and Marie J. Waeber, designers and writers,
are specialists in creative learning. They create and invent
educational manipulatives and thinking games which help teach
mathematics, visual and plastic arts. Their maxim is: be
curious first!. In 2018, they won
the prestigious Royal
Society's Young People's Book Prize (click here to
get more info about the authors).
Lab Books To Delight Your Eyes & Mind!
Read here before copying and using any of our images
or texts. Thanks