Blue or Green? What Color You See Says A Lot About How Your Brain Works

Color Perception Optical Illusion

If you're a fan of optical illusions and how people's perceptions differ, try this experiment conducted by Optical Express. Take a look at the above image. What color do you see, blue or green? While the answer might seem cut and dry, people's answers differ widely.

According to the survey of 1,000 people conducted by Optical Express, 64% perceived the top image to be green and 32% believed it was blue. However, when told to look at that same color sandwiched in between two others, as shown below, answers shifted. Once the color in question, labeled 2, was placed between two noticeably blue shades, 90% of participants responded that the color was green.

So what is the color actually? Optical Express states that the RGB color values are 0 red, 122 green, and 116 blue, which places it in the green category. It's an interesting test that reminds us that color is sometimes open to interpretation.

“Light is converted to an electrical signal which travels along the Optic Nerve to the Visual Cortex in the brain. The brain makes its own unique interpretation of this electrical signal,” shares Stephen Hannan, Clinical Services Director at Optical Express. “It is not surprising that many respondents changed their mind when seeing the color in contrast to the two blue shades, as we perceive an object’s color based on a comparison to its surrounding shades, not on the actual color itself.”

Color Perception Optical Illusion

h/t: [IFL Science!]

All images via Optical Express.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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