Colour perception

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Colour perception

Post by BlackBird » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:46 am

I was listening to a podcast on radiolab that just blew my mind. I'll repost a post I just made on fb, and add some more words to it.

Did you know that while most human's usually have 3 cones of colour perception (R,B,G - Trichromads) and people who are colour blind only have 2 (B,G - Dichromads) there are a few humans out there who have FOUR? (R,B,G,Y - Tetrachromads) - One lady when interviewed by Radiolab, described the sky as having shade of red and purple in it, she was a tetrachromad - While most of us would only see one shade of yellow, she would see a whole spectrum. Bees and many types of bird are also tetrachromads, but unlike humans they perceive a spectrum of colour that includes Ultra violet light. In the link below you can see our conception of how a bee might see flowers compared to us. But what animal sees the most in a rainbow? Some species of Mantis shrimp can have up to 16 cones of colour perception, four cones dedicated to ultra violet light alone. If a mantis shrimp were to stare at a rainbow, it would see a tonne of different colours that we have no perception of.

It blows my mind to think about stuff like this. You can't even imagine the colours that it sees, because you've never seen them. Interestingly, science now has the ability to give colour blind people a third colour cone in their eyes. When interviewed the scientist was asked if it would be possible to give humans a fourth colour cone? He said yes! One day we'll be able to get cone implants in our eyes that will allow us to see millions of new colours that we've never even dreamed of.

A link to the bees eye view: ... ly-us.html
Mantis shrimp:

It's amazing how colourful a mantis shrimp is to our eyes, imagine what a mantis shrimp would look like to another mantis shrimp. I dare say it would be one of the most colourful beings on the planet.

Last edited by BlackBird on Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:21 am, edited 1 time in total.
"For a disciple who has conviction in the Teacher's message & lives to penetrate it, what accords with the Dhamma is this:
'The Blessed One is the Teacher, I am a disciple. He is the one who knows, not I." - MN. 70 Kitagiri Sutta

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Mr Man
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Re: Colour perception

Post by Mr Man » Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:58 am

If you pay attention it is possible to see many more colours, in the sky for example. I found it fascinating to hear the artist David H ockney talk about colour.

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Re: Colour perception

Post by Modus.Ponens » Fri Apr 05, 2013 1:46 am

Allow me to blow your mind. :smile: Watch this documentary about perception. It also talks about color. It's realy amazing! _ And a must watch for a buddhist. The remaining parts are on youtube.

He turns his mind away from those phenomena, and having done so, inclines his mind to the property of deathlessness: 'This is peace, this is exquisite — the resolution of all fabrications; the relinquishment of all acquisitions; the ending of craving; dispassion; cessation; Unbinding.'
(Jhana Sutta - Thanissaro Bhikkhu translation)

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Re: Colour perception

Post by cherrytigerbarb » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:03 am

The video above is a good demonstration of how our minds create a simulation of what we think the world is like outside our bodies based on our sensory inputs. It also shows how that model is inaccurate, and consequently dualistic. Our thoughts, feelings, emotions, ideas, language, labels, conceptualisations and indeed anything relating to the world that originates in the mind are not really the world itself, but rather are mental formations standing in as artificial representations of the world. In order to experience the world (reality) directly, we have to abandon all our conceptualisations and learn to just 'be'. When we do this, we begin to realise that the way we seperate one thing from another is our mental conceptualising & labelling and that in truth, nothing is really seperate from anything else. In fact, everything is made from subatomic particles including ourselves and that because of this, we are not seperate from the world but are intrinsic to it. So, because of this, when I do something, such as bow to a statue of Buddha, I realise that rather than bowing to Buddha, I am bowing to the sum total of reality, and by extension, myself and indeed all of you. It is the world bowing to itelf. This being so, any action taken in this world can be likened to sand moving amongst sand. You could argue that nothing really happens at all, because the sand looks just the same as it did prior to the movement. But then there is the question of what constitutes the motive force that drives the movement of sand within sand? (What causes my body to perform a bow, make a cup of tea, or do anything)? This is simply the interplay of energy and matter in a cause and effect relationship, where the driving energy behind it all originates from the big bang, so that every movement that takes place is simply the universe cooling down (entropy). Now how does all this relate to the cessation of craving, aversion and delusion as the causes of suffering? Well, if everything is the same 'stuff' and thoughts/conceptualisations are nothing more than artificial mental formations leading to false ideas of separation, and everything which exists only ever exists 'now', then what exactly is there to crave or have aversion to? The whole idea of harbouring craving and aversion suddenly seems idiotic and amusing.
"The foolish reject what they see, not what they think. The wise reject what they think, not what they see." - Huang Po.

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Re: Colour perception

Post by SamKR » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:26 am

Modus.Ponens wrote:Allow me to blow your mind. :smile: Watch this documentary about perception. It also talks about color. It's realy amazing! _ And a must watch for a buddhist. The remaining parts are on youtube.

Good stuff.

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Re: Colour perception

Post by Dinsdale » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:13 am

Mr Man wrote:If you pay attention it is possible to see many more colours, in the sky for example.
I used to do stage lighting, and there are over 100 different colours in the gel catalogue.

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Re: Colour perception

Post by Sam Vara » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:48 am

"The eye is burning, forms are burning, eye-consciousness is burning, eye-contact is burning, also whatever is felt as pleasant or painful or neither-painful-nor-pleasant that arises with eye-contact for its indispensable condition, that too is burning. Burning with what? Burning with the fire of lust, with the fire of hate, with the fire of delusion. I say it is burning with birth, aging and death, with sorrows, with lamentations, with pains, with griefs, with despairs. ... .nymo.html

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