Sep201306

colors
Is it possible that we don’t see the same colours?
This question has plagued my mind for decades…

I have several pleasant memories of my late father, but when this question – “Do we really see the same colors?” – hit my mind again today, a not so pleasant memory came to mind. When I was younger, maybe 15 or 16, I posed this question to my father, “What if what I see as green grass, to you is really blue grass, we only both call it green because that is what we were taught?”, the response I got was an agitated “Don’t be stupid”.

Now normally these kinda memories have escaped my mind leaving behind only the most pleasant of memories of my father, but this one stuck, why? Because I have a very philosophical mind, and I have had doubts that what I see is the same as what others see. Why is it more of a philosophical question than a scientific one? Easy answer, how can we prove it? There is no possible way (now) for me to see exactly what you see, how you see it. For that I would have to have direct access to your brain and share your brainwaves and neural patterns. In other words, Seeing it with my brain is different from seeing it with yours, because everyone’s brain processes things differently.

Now back in the day when I first posed this question, doing a Google search wasn’t an option, and trying to search hundreds of books at a library was, although an option, very time-consuming and would probably drive me nuts. But today, I can search hundreds of books/articles in seconds and find similar studies easily. Thank you internet.

Now before I show you what I found, I wanted to show you the video that sparked the memory in the first place:

If you didn’t click play, the video is basically how our eyes see in the dark, or really how our eyes and brain process what we see in the dark. The most important part for this topic being how the rods are colour blind and how colour sensitive cones only exist in numbers towards the centre of the retina.

Now with the memory of my father freshly painted in my mind, I asked Google the same question. Here are some articles I found (and a few videos)… Maybe it wasn’t such a stupid idea after all.

http://goo.gl/2ANgCc
http://goo.gl/v9VBo

And many more. Click here to see my original Google Search

Now with all that info in mind I will create a spinoff topic. Lets not stop at what we see, what about all five senses, do we smell the same smells? Does a rose smells the same to me as it does to you? We both say it smells like roses. but if I could smell the scent you your brain processed, would it seem the same as how my brain processed it? How about touch? Sound? and of course taste, does that strawberry really taste the same to you as it does to me? The possibilities are endless.

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