Science, aliens and seeing the light

May 3, 2007

I recently, through lack of planning rather than design, changed the light-bulb in my room to a green one and it caused me to notice something about physiology that I was never taught in school.

If I lay there and read under a green light for a little while and then moved into a room with more normal lighting the lighting in that room, for about 30 seconds, would appear red. This means one of three things. Either (a) the individual photocells in the eye can increase their sensitivity to light if necessary or (b) the brain adapts any information coming in via the eyes to maintain the light balance it is most used to seeing by or (c) aliens are fucking with the lights in my house.

I was taught that the only control for light sensitivity was the iris opening and closing to let in more or less light not brain sensitivities, photocells or aliens.

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9 Responses to “Science, aliens and seeing the light”

  1. tumisterio Says:

    Mnj….yea, i think the mosy suitable answer for your question is the (C), i have aliens ficking with the lights of my own house…no im just joking..no..rally i think that the brain itself can do lots of things, like adapt the color perception if the light isn´t enough to recognise the environment. (Cognitive science)…ok thats all … goodbye….from Argentina … Doc. Misterio

  2. misterlister Says:

    Try this link: Very Cool Illusion

    If your eyes follow the movement of the rotating pink dot, you will only see one color, pink. If you stare at the black + in the center, the moving dot turns to green. Now, concentrate on the black + in the center of the picture. After a short period of time, all the pink dots will slowly disappear, and you will only see a green dot rotating if you’re lucky! It’s amazing how our brain works.
    There really is no green dot, and the pink ones really don’t disappear. This should be proof enough, we don’t always see what we think we see.


  3. Dear misterlister

    Seen the illusion- it is very cool but doesn’t cover my experience so I am starting to lean towards aliens on this one…

    midnightjester


  4. Dear tumisterio

    does that mean that the brain only makes us see the colours we expect to see rather than what is really there? we are in trouble then…

    midnightjester

  5. misterlister Says:

    Do I have to spell it out?
    It’s through the internet that the aliens got into your house. Definitely the case if you have a wireless connection but no tin hat.

  6. Oscarandre Says:

    “…does that mean that the brain only makes us see the colours we expect to see rather than what is really there?” Now, there is an analogy for life, Jester. Although, I do tend to agree with misterlister on this one – you’ve definitely got aliens.

  7. Solnushka Says:

    B was telling me about an experiment some Russians carried out based on the fact that Russian has an actual word for light blue and a different one for dark blue, whereas English doesn’t.

    Anyway, if I understood the thing correctly, they kept showing English people and Russian people colours and seeing how quickly/ accurately they named them (or something like that). The Russians were slightly quicker.

    It’s supposed to prove something ahout language affecting brain function, I think. Obviously this means you are going to see the colour the aliens have telepathically transmitted the name of into your head. The lightbulb itself is decently white in real life.

    I assume they knew about the English royal blue and navy and turquiose and we are talking about some other shades by the way. Does anyone else find themselves imagining these colours when trying to imagine the experiment rather than some more nebulous and in-English unnamed shades?

  8. Solnushka Says:

    OK. So I looked it up. Should have done that first. Not quicker reaction times, but nevertheless some kind of difference between Englsih/ Russian speakers and blue perception:

    http://tedlab.mit.edu:16080/~mcfrank/witthoft2003.pdf

  9. max Says:

    Doy clearly it is the aliens.


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