Human tetrachromacy is the purely theoretical notion that a woman might, through a rare mutation on one of her two X chromosomes, end up having four different types of cones in her retina instead of the usual three, and therefore be uncannily sensitive to differences in color. But nobody's ever proven that this phenomenon exists in the real world-- Wait. They found one? (And nobody told me?!) Meet Concetta Antico, the tetrachromat painter. Her personal website is a bit self-congratulatory, but the science appears to be sound. It turns out Antico is not the first, either. A doctor known only as cDa29 was confirmed to have four-dimensional color vision back in 2010. [more inside]
At the core of good science and engineering is the careful and respectful treatment of data. We calibrate our instruments, scrutinize the algorithms we use to process the data, and study the behavior of the models we use to interpret the data or simulate the phenomena we may be observing. Surprisingly, this careful treatment of data often breaks down when we visualize our data.
"The observers of this unusual visual stimulus reported seeing the borders between the stripes gradually disappear, and the colors seem to flood into each other. Amazingly, the image seemed to override their eyes' opponency mechanism, and they said they perceived colors they'd never seen before."
The Day I Saw Van Gogh's Genius in a New Light - Kazunori Asada explores a hypothesis: Did Van Gogh perhaps have a color vision deficiency?
The "terminator" is the dividing line between day and night as seen from on high. This shadow line is diffuse and shows the gradual transition to darkness we experience as twilight. [more inside]
How do things look to colorblind people? Colour Lovers (Prev: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 - all more useful to those who aren't colorblind) offers some popular websites and iconic art, As Seen By The Color Blind. Luckily humans are smart and have created technology like the Color Blind Web Page Filter. Prev. Wiki.
Hacking the Senses: The brain is far more plastic than we commonly realize. Presenting new 'senses' via the old inputs works extremely well, to the point that long-term volunteers are a little lost without their new abilities to feel magnetic north or absolute orientation. Tasting direction; feeling pictures. Fascinating stuff. In a loosely related article, genetically modified mice are able to see the full color range visible to humans, even though the last natural mouse able to see this way died out a hundred million years ago. Add the new sensors, and the brain reconfigures. [via]