Not since Monica Lewinsky was a White House intern has one blue dress been the source of so much consternation. EST. Are you sure you want to delete this comment? I stayed up until 4am tonight, and by gosh I’m tired. He attributes differential perceptions to differences in illumination and fabric priors, but also notes that the stimulus is highly unusual insofar as the perception of most people does not switch. That’s why the same sweater, let’s say, might appear to take on different colors when viewed under an artificial light (which usually contains more yellowish, long-wavelength components)—as opposed to natural daylight (which contains a more equal mix). The £50 ($77) lace creation sparked fierce debate over its … This was the first time that a colored image had yielded radically distinct interpretations, and the very fact that such a thing is possible raised an important research question: What determines which colors a given person saw? Chances are about 50–50. Different perspectives, different facets of the same diamond, in the end we have to decide if we want to be blue black or white gold or just enjoy the dress. I just laughed and told the wife that I'd better get to work," he said. Also somewhat to my surprise, I found no effect of time of day when viewing the image, no effect of whether people grew up—or are living now—in an urban versus rural setting. (For the record, the dress really is blue and black. You don’t really….”. And you could see it in my Twitter notifications because people started having conversations in, like, Spanish and Portuguese and then Japanese and Chinese and Thai and Arabic. If that’s true, then the larks should be more likely to interpret an ambiguous image as being lit by the short-wavelength light they’re used to seeing and thus more likely to see the dress as white and gold. Some people see a blue and black dress washed out in bright light. If you assumed that the dress was in a shadow, your brain would subtract out some blue from your internal image of the dress, to account for a shadow’s blueish tint. Now, the kicker is what happened to me….  Others examined why people were making such a big argument over a seemingly trivial matter. So I thought, well, my cones and what not in my eyeball are probably different from when I was alert and not tired, so I tried to find a dress. ), What’s going on? Now lets do another test! Parts of the image seemed to imply backlighting (which would leave the dress in a blueish shadow) whereas others implied yellowish, overhead store lighting.  The first large-scale scientific study on the dress was published in Current Biology three months after the image went viral. The world as it is arriving at your eyes is incredibly ambiguous, and it's only through the brain that we can figure out what's really out there, he said. "I think the brain has just made a different assumption about how the dress is being illuminated.". Well, the original dress is black and blue. Tom Christ, Tumblr's director of data, said at its peak the page was getting 14,000 views a second (or 840,000 views per minute), well over the normal rates for content on the site. [Eye Tricks: Gallery of Visual Illusions]. Given the inherent noisiness of collecting data online due to extreme variations in viewing conditions, I was quite surprised by the consistency and strength of the effect. Those are the two different kinds of cells that are in your eyes, and allow the brain to see colours.  Anya Hurlbert and collaborators also considered the problem from the perspective of colour perception. Take a look at the original, but stare at it for around 30 seconds. I thought somebody had died, maybe. Honestly I had a feeling of wanting to be right, and truly thinking my father must be losing it. "I couldn't open Twitter because it kept crashing. But if your brain assumes the opposite (that the lighting is very bright), it then makes the judgment that the dress itself must be darker, hence blue and black. The existing Open Comments threads will continue to exist for those who do not subscribe to Independent Premium. By joining Slate Plus you support our work and get exclusive content. Is it white and gold or is it black and blue? Due to the sheer scale of this comment community, we are not able to give each post the same level of attention, but we have preserved this area in the interests of open debate. And they're both female. Then I let my eyes be tired, and after some time the dress became white and gold.  For a week, the debate became well known in Colonsay, a small island community. The latest of these, posted on the one-year anniversary of the dress phenomenon, shows an Adidas jacket against a white background. Visit our corporate site. "I was pretty gobsmacked. Was that a random choice, or did it demonstrate something more fundamental about the viewer—their genetics, habits ,or life experience? I kid you not! It took big money", "Why blue/black/white/gold dress went viral", "Why that dress looks white and gold: It's overexposed", "The Science of Why No One Agrees on the Color of This Dress", "#TheDress: have researchers solved the mystery of its colour? Other celebrities, including Ellen DeGeneres and Ariana Grande, mentioned the dress on social media without mentioning specific colours. , The Journal of Vision, a scientific journal about vision research, announced in March 2015 that a special issue about the dress would be published with the title A Dress Rehearsal for Vision Science.
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