• Question: Is it true that technically we only see grey ?

    Asked by @Shannon on 13 May 2020.
    • Photo: Sonia Lenehan

      Sonia Lenehan answered on 13 May 2020:

      Not really, it actually has to do with light and how that light is taken by our brain! So light hits off of surfaces and depending on the surface they might absorb all of the light or some of the light may bounce off and produce colours. This link brings you to a page that explains how we are able to see colour and what goes on in our eyes and our brains! https://www.pantone.com/color-intelligence/articles/technical/how-do-we-see-color

      I hope this helps!

    • Photo: Simon Spichak

      Simon Spichak answered on 13 May 2020:

      Nope this isn’t really true as far as I’ve learned. We have a part of our eye which is called the retina and it is sensitive to light. We have special receptors on our retina that detect different types of light – this because different colors have different wavelengths! Because of these differences, we have cells that can tell the difference between red, green and blue! These awesome cells are called photoreceptors! Our perception of color depends on the combination of photoreceptors that are activated when light hits our eyes! Pretty cool isn’t it? We have another set of cells at the edges of our retina that are called rods, and they detect light in dimmer conditions, These cells aren’t as finely tuned to color!

    • Photo: Aruna Chandrasekar

      Aruna Chandrasekar answered on 13 May 2020:

      No. We can see all the colours of the visible light, Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green Yellow, Orange, and Red (VIBGYOR) and combinations of them. However, this could be different for some people who are colour blind.

    • Photo: Aisling Ryan

      Aisling Ryan answered on 13 May 2020:

      I was always really interested in colours and vision and intrigued by how we see when I was in school! Most people with normal vision can see all the colours of the rainbow. People that are colourblind can have different problems with seeing colour. Usually, colourblindness makes it difficult to distinguish between different colours. For example, if a graph had a red curve and a green curve, a person who is colourblind may not be able to tell which curve is red and which is green because to them both would look the same colour.
      You mention the colour grey- interestingly when scientists are presenting data the safest way to ensure EVERYONE can read the graph is to have the different data points as different shades of grey. That way whether a person has normal vision or colour vision deficiency (colour blindness) they should still be able to distinguish between the different data points as grey is a colour everyone can see!

    • Photo: Gustavo Velasco-Hernandez

      Gustavo Velasco-Hernandez answered on 15 May 2020:

      Our eyes have two kinds of cells in the retina that act as light sensors, these are rods and cones. Cones give us color vision, they are concentrated in the center of our retina and help us to see fine details. There are 3 types of cones and in different quantities, cones for red light (60%), cones for green light (30%), and cones for blue light (10%). Rods sense the level of light and give us good vision in low light conditions. They are located around the center of the retina and give us our peripheral vision. They are more sensitive than cones and are present in more quantity, the retina has approximately 120 million rods and 6 million cones.

    • Photo: Jun Lin

      Jun Lin answered on 16 May 2020:

      We can see a portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. This is labelled as visible lights which cover a range of colours so of course we don’t just see grey 🙂

    • Photo: Fiona Malone

      Fiona Malone answered on 21 May 2020:

      I don’t think so no, we can detect different colours