Thursday, August 12, 2010

Color Me Badly

SciAm has a fascinating slide show of optical illusions based upon the way our brain perceives color. (via Neatorama)

Fickle hearts

All the hearts in this checkerboard are made out of the same cyan-colored dots, but they look green against the green background and blue against the blue background. The image, by Kitaoka, is based on the dungeon illusion discovered by vision scientist Paola Bressan of the University of Padua in Italy.

Eye shadow

This Japanese manga girl by Kitaoka looks like she has one blue eye and one gray eye. In fact, both eyes are exactly the same shade of gray. The girl's right eye only looks the same as the turquoise hair clip because of the reddish context. Part of the process of seeing color is that three different kinds of photoreceptors in the eye are tuned to three overlapping families of color: red, green and blue (which are activated by visible light of long, medium and short wavelengths). These signals are then instantaneously compared with signals from nearby regions in the same scene. As the signals are passed along to higher and higher processing centers in the brain, they continue to be compared with larger and larger swaths of the surrounding scene. This "opponent process," as scientists call it, means that color and brightness are always relative.

Top 10 Weird Colors You’ve Never Heard Of

Bonus Color! With an extra "u" and everything!
Living Colour - Cult of Personality
One of the very few metal bands comprised of an all black lineup, even rarer no doubt in 1988 when Living Colour dropped their debut Vivid. Led by guitarist Vernon Reid, the band's first single and album opener "Cult of Personality" went on to be a huge MTV and college rock radio monster.