Scientists all have their go-tos: Biologists have their lab rats, Astronomers have telescopes. For color researchers, they now have #TheDress.
READ MORE // Optical Illusions: Make your brain see colours
It doesn’t matter if the dress looked White and Gold or Black and Blue, but the meme dominated the Internet in the earlier acts of 2015.
It wasn’t all idle chatter either
“A major scientific discovery for color vision” – Bevil Conway, Neuroscientist, Wellesley College, Massachusetts.
Conway led a group that reported one of three papers published in June, and the consensus was that about 60 percent of all people see Black and Blue, while 30 percent saw White and Gold. A further 10 percent see Black and Brown, or other colour combos. Interestingly, nearly half of all surveyed said their initial perceptions changed.
There are many examples of Color Illusions, but everyone experienced this one in roughly the same way.
#TheDress is the first documented example of one image that causes two different color perceptions.
The ambiguity of the question fades when researchers put a person into the dress, suggesting the dress messes with our brain’s color constancy system; some viewers see the dress as lit with natural light and see white, while others perceive it as lit by incandescent light, and see blue.
Sorry, #TheDress is Black and Blue.
There are now dozens of ongoing studies in labs regarding the photograph, says Conway, looking for insights into how and why people’s brains can perceive colours differently. The Internet has since moved on without harm.
There’s 99 more stories from 2015. Check out the Best of 2015 series here