What Color is the Dress — And Why?

Did you notice something strange yesterday? What happened to #TBT? The social media norm was disrupted over a very simple question that set social media ablaze—What color is the dress: white and gold or blue and black?

Don’t worry, we couldn’t agree here at the office either. We decided to track down LensCrafters Clinical Director, Mark Jacquot, O.D., and ask him how we see color and if our eyes are playing tricks on us,

LC: What is happening?

Dr. Jacquot: Our vision is made up of two kind of cells: rods and cones. Cones are located in the center of the eye and are what allow us to see color. Each person’s arrangement and number of cones is totally unique, which means color perception varies from person to person. You may see brownish gold and your friend may see black, and you might both be right.

LC: Should I adjust my monitor?

Dr. Jacquot: No. Adjusting the display on your computer is a sort of artificial way of manipulating color perception. The ambiguity of the colors in this image probably stem from the type and quality of light in the room at the time that the photo was taken. Fluorescent light tends to make things look bluer, while incandescent light makes things seem yellow, just as examples. There are a whole host of lighting issues that could change how we see color. Neutral colors in particular are prone to ambiguity because they can reflect the color of their surroundings an influence how they appear to the eye.

LC: What else is going on here?

Dr. Jacquot: There could be a few things. For instance, lens coloration matters. Over time, UV light yellows the eye lens and can give vision a yellow tinge. This is why it’s so important to wear sunglasses.

There you have it; the dress is whatever color you see! But in case you haven’t heard, the dress is really blue and black!

For more from the experts, including Dr. Mark Jacquot,  go to this link on Health.com.

Posted in EYE HEALTH.