Here as well, if the tree painting was somewhow a reflection of Antico's tetrachromatism, she would have chosen colors that matched those that she sees on the eucalyptus. Such colors would be indistinguishable to us trichromats from the colors the tree does have, with the net result of a normally colored tree painting.
At best, Antico is using something of a metaphor to convey her tetrachromatism. But no real insight on her vision.
I've discovered that many art colleagues "don't get it", i.e., who seem not to discern the same subtleties that I appreciate. I'm beginning to think this may be due to differences in color discrimination. IOW whatever the basis for the difference I'm sure it would be measurable within limits of color vision test resolution.
I don't know about the illustration in the article. Reproduction (especially reduced resolution) may very well coarsen the color so that the distinctions are run together, so no difference to see. You might want to try the on-line Farnswell-Munsell 100 test alluded to above which might be more informative.
So, you would have two entities, wood and print, which would match each other in color both for you and your colleagues. It's just that the colors thus matched would be beautiful and subtle for you, boring for them.
When painting, you might 'see' the 520nm green in your scene, but choose paint that is a mixture of yellow and blue to recreate it since the net color looks the same to you. However, the paint will look different from the scene to someone missing (eg) red cones.: Your red cones contributed to the blue+yellow looking green to you, since the yellow paritally activates the red cones.
My mother has painted Impressionist-style oil paintings my whole life, and taught painting classes. In her classes, she always tells people to use colors that they don't see ("You need the pink on the water", etc). Once you've painted enough, you learn to realize what colors are in the scene but not quite obvious. You definitely exaggerate the colors ("hint of pink" becomes "pink streaks") while painting in this style, but it also forces you to think harder about what colors your eye actually sees.
So it seems to me that impressionist-style coloring can definitely come from "faking it" (being taught it, and trying hard), but I would definitely believe it could come from tetrachromism, where those small differences stick out to you a lot. It would be fascinating to know if any early impressionists had evidence of being tetrachromatic.
1) Considering that a tetrachromatic colour X is seen by regular folks as a trichromatic colour Y.
2) Are all artificial representations (paint) of the tetrachromatic colour X also seen by regular folks as the trichromatic colour Y?
I guess your hypothesis is true only if the answer to the above question is "yes".
Antico may see some color in the bark that I don't see---say, green.
So she adds actual green paint into her painting, which, of course, I do see.
But what appears green to her may not appear green to a trichromat.
well, they wouldn't paint a pitch black canvas and claim they can see a vase in that painting.
if el greco had some kind of condition that made him see elongated figures at thirty feet away, would a small normally proportioned figure drawing two feet away really look elongated also?
El Greco usually paints figures close by. Portraits, mostly. Your question does not apply to his most famous paintings, I don't think.
Hypothetical tetrachromacy has been demonstrated, that is, M and L cones with minor differences in peak spectral response existing in a retinal mosaic. The question arises whether this difference is capable of being propagated through the bipolar connecting neuronal paths (which form the "blue-yellow" and "red-green" channel paths conveying color info to the brain visual cortex).
Several studies found no evidence for a "fourth channel", and some perceptual studies did not show confirmation of tetrachromacy. However a couple of studies do hint at rare female subjects who do seem to have good evidence for this trait.
It is postulated that because of the differences in the exact genetic encodings on the 2 X chromosomes in females, that up to 50% of women have a retinal mosaic of 4 populations of cones, S M M' L, S M L L', and so on. The theory is that this allowed greater distinction of yellow to red color distinction which may have helped survival by avoiding toxic plants based on subtle color distinctions.
In art, there are great colorists and those who are virtually incapable of subtle use of color. If anyone interested in finding out about their own abilities, check out:
The on-line test is only a rough estimate, but it's fun and challenging. I suspect there's a spectrum, aka normal distribution of color discrimination ability. I should't say how well I did, though the results of trying it several times were remarkably consistent despite different computer systems that I used.
BTW I encountered one very intriguing article reporting on a large sample of retinas obtained post-mortem. As expected, ~50% of females showed retinal mosaic of 2 M or L cones where only one each was expected. Most fascinating was the fact that of male retinas 8% showed a similar tetrachromat pattern. How that could arise is a mystery considering males have only one X chromosome. (There are pigment gene variations with greater number of CNV and TR which could be activated? But it's still a mystery.)
Adding genes for extra cone types into normally dichromatic mammals (mice or something? I don’t remember off hand and I don’t have the citation at my fingertips) has seemed in studies to result in trichromatic vision, so it’s not too big a leap to suspect that tetrachromacy of the type described in the article might happen for some humans.
As you say there hasn’t been any study which showed this conclusively (that I’ve seen anyhow). I’d love to see more thorough research on these subjects who supposedly possess such vision.
> In art, there are great colorists and those who are virtually incapable of subtle use of color. If anyone interested in finding out about their own abilities, check out: http://www.xrite.com/online-color-test-challenge
Note, this online test is a bit easier than the paper version of the Farnsworth–Munsell hue test, since the colors in the screen version end up with some lightness differences that make it a bit easier to keep some sections of the chart in order. Either way, the test IMO mostly measures (a) whether someone has “normal” trichromatic vision, and (b) how patient and willing to fiddle with fine details they are. I don’t personally think Farnsworth–Munsell test scores are super meaningful, though a very poor score does indicate some color vision deficiency. [FWIW, if I take the time to do the test slowly, either on screen or on paper, I consistently score ~0, occasionally mixing up one pair or another.]
But anyway, I think the ability to be a good colorist in art has a whole lot to do with practice. Spending a lot of time mixing paint or color correcting photographs is likely to heighten awareness of tiny distinctions. For instance, I know that after a couple years of photography courses, several of my friends got much better at noticing color casts in photographs. Not that they couldn’t physically see them before, but after experience they more often spontaneously noticed the casts and started to have a feel for just how much adjustment in which direction would be necessary to counteract them.
It's mathematically possible that a continuous spectrum of light also wouldn't pick it up, if its only effect was that different combinations of frequency that appear identical to an ordinary person could be distinguished. (Not that this would confer any evolutionary advantage.)
In this case, it gets increasingly hard and even erratic to tell adjacent colors apart; essentially the comparison function is increasingly expensive and non-deterministic.
I wonder if that has any consequences for the "optimal" strategy. In my case -- and I suspect most people did it the same way --, I used a kind of two-way insertion sort: for each field, I first decided if it should move left or right, then moved it as far as it "made sense". So I ended up with a list that got sorted from the outside towards the inside. In the end I had a few passes of "bubble sort", checking adjacent pairs for correctness. This was when it got expensive and erratic. :)
It would be a fun experiment to have an algorithm sort the list (based on whatever sorting algorithm) and simply use the human as a comparison robot: display two hues at the same time and let the human decide which of the two is "smaller". I'm sure you could easily measure and even predict the increase in "expense" (i.e. response time) and the increase in errors and ambiguity for close hues.
You could also do stuff like force the user to decide within a very short time, to determine if there's actually an increase in accuracy when staring at a given pair for 10 seconds vs a 500ms "hunch" decision (or heck, 10 500ms hunches, still a two-fold improvement).
I wouldn't doubt that practice could help, but the test (I believe) was designed to minimize practice effect. I've mixed a lot of color, but one can mix color to a shade only as far as one could determine it's right.
It used to be, color matching for printed material was done in large shops by workers visually comparing swatches to customer desired shades. This required training, but not every trainee could master it despite extra effort and time. Seemed it required native ability, talent as it were, to be able to be good at it.
Anyway, the online test is solely for one's own interest and information. I don't see there's anything substantial at stake.
EDIT: Had another 2 tries, got 4 and 12. Turns out practice does more harm than good - after 3 tries it's a bit disorienting trying to read off the screen. Gonna have to take a break from machine.
Many people got very different results depending on the monitor they were using.
I've never done either, score 12, age +- 50, male.
Interesting test, harder than I thought it would be.
Indeed. I scored 12 on that test, despite being colorblind with moderate-strong protanopia.
But does that really mean I got all of them correct?! I was squinting and squinting (and cursing insertion sort), and I was pretty tired out near the end. I thought I might've been able to squeeze out some last tiny errors if I would have gone over all those bars again, flipping a few boxes that were not just quite right.
Also if I look at the rainbow bar in the screenshot, I'm assuming that's the full range of colours I sorted, I can clearly see there's a few errors and discontinuities in there still.
I wonder if it maybe just rounds down really small errors to zero because they're "close enough"? That's too bad, because I'm tempted to go back and try to do better :) But if it won't increase my score (decrease my error rate), I only have my own judgement of that final full rainbow hue bar to go by :)
(also, remember to disable Flux/Redshift. it probably doesn't help accuracy :) )
Indeed there is. The most common is a variant carried by around 2/3 of the human population (depending on ethnicity and gender), which results in a slightly different red response curve, as shown in color matching tests ; and might also be involved in some forms of actual color blindness. Other, less common variations involve mosaicism of both red and green pigments as well [see ibid, Fig. 8].
The tetrachromacy thing is a perennial media favorite these days; but IMO these subtler but actually widespread differences are much more interesting, at least from a philosophy of mind point of view.
 Deeb 2005 - The molecular basis of variation in human color vision. Link below:
It does raise the interesting but perhaps unanswerable question of the similarity or difference of the effect of the molecular variation vs. tetrachromacy on color perception.
Would greater red sensitivity of L cones in effect produce equivalent visual experience as having a fourth type of cone?
Since the visual system computes color on the basis of differential response in M and L cones at time t, having a greater separation of M and L spectra would be sufficient information to compute a larger range of intermediate colors vs. the normal L-M difference. The presence of another node L' between L and M could just be redundant input and not necessarily adding information to the color computation.
A question that arises here is if S M L L' females have better color perception is it because of having L and L' or would it reflect L' being more distant from M than the typical single L of female trichromats.
That may be significant in light of lack of clear findings of direct benefit to female color perception in those having L L' retinal mosaics.
EDIT: Actually, to my way of thinking, the issue is more precisely color discrimination, which is fairly directly measurable vs color perception, a less tractable concept.
Doesn't work on mobile :-(
Still, I was curious and so looked it up and was very interested to find that it is a Eucalypt from outside Australia and, more than that, the only one whose native region partly lies within the northern hemisphere. Another name for it is the Mindanao gum, as it is native to the tropical rainforests of Mindanao in the Philippines (north of the equator).
I've been tested for color vision and I am 100% accurate meaning I can discern subtle shades from each other precisely with no effort. I also have a very light form of synaesthesia manifesting itself by seeing a flash of light in the night right before an unexpected sudden loud noise (yet with observable latency) - like seeing a lightning just before hearing a thunder, even if the noise is not accompanied by any light.
I was also always wondering if what I perceive as "blue" is the same as other people perceive as "blue"? What if the neural response in my brain wires the color sensation in the same way as other people perceive "green"? That would help to understand individual preferences for colors. Also, we know there are special cells in retina doing direction detection, edge detection etc. - what if this had a profound impact on how we individually perceive world around us? Somebody can have a strong edge or directional detection present in their view all the time, logically assuming it's normal for the others as well that are lacking that ability. We are just too diverse, and people are rather quiet in order not to risk being considered abnormal and marginalized, a common problem for artists in general.
He said that people who were being dishonest sounded purple- the man was a walking lie detector, and never knew how he was doing it.
Does this improve your reaction time to sudden noises? You should totally test it :)
My first hunch was that my computer or phone may have been bugged to take a flash photo. But that's hard for me to believe. Maybe it's just my brain doing something weird (or something normal).
"Cherenkov radiation can be generated in the eye by charged particles hitting the vitreous humour, giving the impression of flashes"
See this chart for example: http://imgs.xkcd.com/blag/satfaces_map_1024.png
Interestingly there is some evidence that culture and language might affect our perception of color.
For people with “normal” trichromatic color vision, the color we perceive when looking at a particular spot does indeed fall into a three dimensional “color space”. You’re right that without careful attention/training it’s hard to state colors in terms of coordinates in terms of cone cell responses directly or color opponent signals (blue–yellow, red–green, white–black). It’s easy to train someone to give reasonably accurate color coordinates in terms of lightness, hue, and chroma, however.
If you want to understand human color vision in detail, I recommend this online resource: http://www.handprint.com/LS/CVS/color.html
The evidence for effects of language on color perception is very weak, or it indicates that the effects are themselves very weak.
The big paper in this field is this: http://www.languagescience.umd.edu/~ellenlau/courses/ling440...
They find that Russian speakers, who have separate words for two shades of blue, can discriminate between those shades of blue something like 50 ms faster than they can discriminate between two shades of blue that fall into the same color word category.
First thing to note, that's a very small difference.
Second thing: the effect goes away under verbal interference (like when you have the subjects repeat a word over and over again while doing the color discrimination task). So I guess there's an effect of language on color perception, but not while you're talking? It definitely doesn't seem to me that the colors I am perceiving change when I am talking vs. when I am not.
Third, there's a huge overall reaction time difference between the Russian and English speakers in the paper, which calls into question how well the experiment was really run.
So it's not clear that there really are effects of culture/language on color perception; and if they do exist they are very small. (At least that's the conclusion I would draw from this paper, which is widely cited in that field. I'd be interested to hear of different results if they're out there.)
The cornea blocks some UV light so if you have eye correction surgery your cornea is now modified/thinner and you can see slightly into the UV spectrum.
Probably has some downsides too.. Cataracts are probably more probable seeing as people tend to get them more frequently at higher altitude.
The Tibetan people apparently have a high rate of cataracts since there is higher UV light at the higher altitude.
I'd be curious if she still sees the same thing in a digital image of the scene, or does the RGB system destroy it.
I'm no bird sight expert but it's suggested here  that a particular bird may have 8 effective color receptors (5 cones, 3 cone-droplet pairs) for a huge number of colors humans can't see. Diagrams of the receptors themselves can be found at the wiki .
 - http://watchingtheworldwakeup.blogspot.com/2008/11/mountain-...
 - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bird_vision#Light_perception
Like if you play chess for hours and hours every day, eventually you start to experience everything in terms of chess moves. It's the same with color. Look at just about any flat surface long enough and you'll notice it has a hue, saturation and value. Just go into Photoshop and you'll see that boring white wall has variations in hue, saturation and value, it's no medical mystery in my opinion.
This part is a tiny more green, that part is a tiny more blue. I'm not giving you an art lesson here but you get the idea. Artists know they can make things look farther away by painting them blue/gray, decrease saturation with distance, etc. The painter learns to exaggerate because she just has a 2D surface to work with. Anyway, through the process of painting our perception of color improves, even when we're not painting.
K-12 the goal is just paint the sky blue and the grass green, color inside the lines and get your grade. But if you want to be a serious painter at some point, you may want to look at things fresh, more intently. When people see your paintings, don't expect them to care how long it took to mix the color. Only a few artists will notice and they're not the ones buying your work.
So even for artists, seeing color is not terribly useful, because mixing color is very time-consuming. It's more a hindrance than anything because I can finish an ink wash in 1/100th the time and sell that for the same price as an oil painting of the same subject.
If you have all the time in the world and don't need money, I say go for it, buy some expensive oil paint and send me an email, I'll tell you what to buy. Stretch the canvas yourself and go all out.
From what I understand, a modern monitor is capable of displaying the entire range of colors perceptible to the human eye. Am I mistaken about that?
So would it not be possible to create a web-based version of these "coloured discs", and then we can test ourselves.
It kinda depends on what you think as a color. Computer monitors rely heavily on that (normal) human vision can not distinguish from eg. red-green and "true" yellow, even though they are completely different from physical perspective. So a typical computer monitor does not bother to create "true" yellow and instead cheats by outputting red-green when asked for yellow.
If we had an hypothetical tetrachromat with additional cones sensitive for yellow light, her color vision would span the same range as normal (trichromat) color vision, ie cover the same piece of EM spectrum. But normal computer monitors would not be able to reproduce for her what she sees in real world.
Then there is the somewhat related discussion about violet and red-blue which is quite curious when you begin think about it.
 I'm using "true" color to refer light with specific wavelength
(A simple example: The color cyan can be produced by additively combining the spectra of blue and green, but can also be produced by creating photons with only the wavelength of cyan, 490-520nm according to Wikipedia. A person with normal color vision would not be able to differentiate between these two light sources, whereas a measurement device or perhaps a tetrachromat could. A computer monitor can only produce the first of these).
So the answer to your question is no, unfortunately.
What you'll notice though is that because the diagram has a curved edge (this is the spectrum of visible light actually), no polygon can encompass all colors.
I've always thought it would be cool if someone made a CRT using two prisms (splitting light from a blackbody), such that a narrowband of light from one prism is combined with a narrowband of light from the other prism in different intensities. This would be able to reproduce all colors a human can see, assuming the ability to tune to a specific portion of the spectrum is fast enough to scan over all pixels that constitute the image.
But I suppose that a polygon could encompass all colors if it was big enough to include also wavelengths of non-visible colors.
I think it would depend on the particular mapping from 3 to 2 dimensions... it might be possible.
It surely depends on the type of colorblindness, there are many .
If you're monochromate or dichromate, I doubt that this is possible. Monochromates or dichromates are simply missing one or two color components out of three.
If you have anomalous trichromacy, you can by creating a monitor with pixels of different colors.
In any case, I don't see how it is possible to identify a tetrachromate with a trichromate (RGB) monitor.
I tried to increase the contrast and change the hue of the color test to understand what was different between the apparently similar colors but I wasn't able to find any difference.
Why couln't this happen for either of the other cones?
The most common case of male anomalous trichromacy is the "wrong/unusual" green receptor case, so the most common case of woman tetracromat is one that has 2 copies of the usual blue receptor, 2 copies of the usual red receptor and 1 copy of the usual green receptor 1 copy of the unusual green receptor. This is the case discussed in the article.
To reduce the text size I'll denote this kind of tetracromat with BBGgRR, where the capital letter denote the usual color receptor and the noncapital letter denote the unusual color receptor. (This is unrelated to recessive and dominant genes that are usually denoted by capital and noncapital letters.)
The second most common case of male anomalous trichromacy is the "wrong/unusual" red receptor case, so the seccond most common case of woman tetracromat is BBGGRr (1 copy of the usual red receptor an 1 copy of the unusual red receptor).
Obviously, you can have both mixed copies, so a woman can have BBGgRr and be a pentacromat. At least have the genes to "see" in a 5-dimensional color space. If she can use this ability is less clear.
The least common case of male anomalous trichromacy is the "wrong/unusual" blue receptor case, so the least common case of woman tetracromat is BbGGRR.
It can be mixed with the other cases, so a woman can be pentacromat or hexacromat.
The interesting part is that the blue gene is not in the X chromosome, so both male and females have two copies. So a male can be tetracromat BbG_R_ . But this chromosome is not inactivated as the 50% of the X chromosomes in females. So I'm not sure if it's possible to have a different kind of vision in this case.
--- It's more complicated
Actually you can have more than 1 copy of the color genes in each chromosome, and there are more than two variations of each gene, so it's more complicated.
It would certainly be possible for a genetic mutation to result in an extra mutated copy of the short cone pigment gene, but I don’t think I’ve heard of variants of this gene with slightly different light sensitivity than the usual type (they might exist though?). By contrast “non-standard” version of the medium cone pigment gene is relatively common.
† We should properly refer to the cones as long, medium, and short rather than red, green, and blue, since color is computed from differences in cone responses.