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What Colours Do You See?

We don't all see the same colours. There are people affected by a condition called tetrachromacy that can see what you can't.

Well, the words "affected" and "condition" sound inaccurate for someone that can see a full rainbow of different shades where most of us can see one or two nuances.

It is due to a gene that influences the development of the retina. Almost everyone has three types of “cone cells” in their retina. Each of them responds to a different bandwidth of light. Although the exact sensitivity may vary between people, overall one person’s colours should roughly match another person’s. The exceptions were thought to be colour-blind people, where one of the cones is faulty.

In the opposite case, an extra cone would offer a hundred different variants to each colour that humans normally see. We know that this happens in nature: zebra finches and goldfish both have a fourth cone that seems to help them differentiate apparently identical colours. They have a kind of super-vision, like people with tetrachromacy.

One of these people is the Australian artist Concetta Antico, a painter that is able through the use of the palette to let us peep from the window of her perception of surrounding colours. The picture shows one of her works.

Photo: Concetta Antico


Date: 13 September 2014
Credits Publisher: Spiritual News

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