Do you see red like I see red?
This research builds up the idea that color isn’t so critical for telling you what stuff is but rather about its likely meaning. Color doesn’t tell you about the kind of fruit, but rather whether a piece of fruit is probably tasty. And for faces, color is literally a vital sign that helps us identify emotions like anger and embarrassment, as well as sickness, as any parent knows.
It might be color’s importance for telling us about meaning, especially in social interactions, that makes variability in color experiences between people so disconcerting.
Another reason variability in color experience is troubling has to do with the fact that we can’t easily measure colors. …So, yes, we can determine color by measuring what happens in the brain. Our results show that each color is associated with a distinct pattern of brain activity.
- Bevil R. Conway, National Eye Institute, Section on Perception & Danny Garside, National Institutes of Health for The Conversation