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Why some people see #TheDress as white and gold, rather than blue and black

Why some see #TheDress as blue and black, and other see it as white and gold

Is #TheDress blue and black, or white and gold? The world has been locked in an intense debate since a photo of a dress from British retailer Roman Originals was recently posted on Tumblr

Some people see the dress as black and blue. Others see it as white and gold. According to the store website, it's blue and black. 

Taylor Swift says the dress is blue and black. So does Justin Bieber. This should be enough to close the case for good. But for those who are still skeptical, i.e. the people screaming it's actually white and gold, here's why you may see the dress differently. 

According to Pantone, the world's leading authority on color, the human eye and brain work together to turn light into color. The retina in your eye is covered with light-sensitive cells shaped like rods and cones. These are the receptors that filter the light you see into nerve impulses that then travel to your brain through the optic nerve. 

No one person's arrangment of cones is the same, which will cause everyone to perceive color differently. This doesn't mean someone is wrong for seeing one color, and someone else is right. 

And according to Thomas Stokkermans, the optometrist who directs the optometry division at UH Case Medical Center in Cleveland, the time of day and our surroundings can affect how we see color.  

"Our brain basically biases certain colors depending on what time of day it is, what the surrounding light conditions are," Stokkermans told ABC News. "So this is a filtering process by the brain."

According to Dr. Lisa Lystad, a neuro-opthalmologist at Cleveland Clinic's Cole Eye Institute, people can also see colors differently based on their memories and past experiences. 

The optical illusion, called the Bezold Effect, was actually named after Wilhelm von Bezold, who realized he could change the appearance of the color combinations of his rug designs by altering one color. It's mentioned in Josef Albers' 1963 book "Interaction of Color."

So stop telling your co-workers they are color blind. It's an optical illusion. 

And if you really want to freak everyone out, here are more optical illusions by professor Arthur Shapiro at American University.

#TeamBlueBlack. Follow me on Twitter @Jenn_Harris_

 

 

 

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