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The many colours of ‘the dress’: Current Biology

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Summary

There has been an intense discussion among the public about the colour of a dress, shown in a picture posted originally on Tumblr (http://swiked.tumblr.com/post/112073818575/guys-please-help-me-is-this-dress-white-and; accessed on 10:56 am GMT on Tue 24 Mar 2015). Some people argue that they see a white dress with golden lace, while others describe the dress as blue with black lace. Here we show that the question “what colour is the dress?” has more than two answers. In fact, there is a continuum of colour percepts across different observers. We measured colour matches on a calibrated screen for two groups of observers who had reported different percepts of the dress. Surprisingly, differences between the two groups arose mainly from differences in lightness, rather than chromaticity of the colours they adjusted to match the dress. We speculate that the ambiguity arises in the case of this particular image because the distribution of colours within the dress closely matches the distribution of natural daylights. This makes it more difficult to disambiguate illumination changes from those in reflectance.

See on cell.com



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maggio: 2015
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