Dress Going Viral Confirmed As Blue And Black, But Here’s Why People See It Differently

first_imgThe white/gold or black/blue viral dress.Writing about dress colors isn’t usually in our wheelhouse, but given how the sports world was responding to the viral debate regarding this photo Thursday night, we figured we’d get involved. We also figured we’d update you on the answer to the debate, as well as the reason that people are seeing the same dress in such drastically different colors.First, for those who haven’t seen the photo before – see below. Some people see it as white and gold, while others see it as blue and black.In the morning when I was looking at that dress, it was black&blue now in the evening its white&gold! WTF? HOW? :DDD pic.twitter.com/lwS8oQlcvx— Laura Slivka (@zeGoattt) February 27, 2015In reality, the dress is blue and black. That will probably shock half of you out there, but it’s true.Hey everyone, you can buy the dress yourself and see that it’s blue and black #whiteandgold #blackandblue #yallidiots pic.twitter.com/7XkMgMPFvi— Max (@thabaerjew) February 27, 2015So why is the world split on this? Wired probably has the best explanation we’ve seen out there. In short, a given person’s visual system is either discounting the color blue or the color gold involuntarily.This image, though, hits some kind of perceptual boundary. That might be because of how people are wired. Human beings evolved to see in daylight, but daylight changes color. That chromatic axis varies from the pinkish red of dawn, up through the blue-white of noontime, and then back down to reddish twilight. “What’s happening here is your visual system is looking at this thing, and you’re trying to discount the chromatic bias of the daylight axis,” says Bevil Conway, a neuroscientist who studies color and vision at Wellesley College. “So people either discount the blue side, in which case they end up seeing white and gold, or discount the gold side, in which case they end up with blue and black.” (Conway sees blue and orange, somehow.)Business Insider also has a decent writeup on the situation.The sports world has been having a field day relating this to team colors. Coach Cal made a joke last night. Duke basketball made another this morning. It probably won’t end for some time.last_img

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