Perception of colors - how does it happen?

Each of us has his own favorite color, favorite season, with its colors and shades, favorite work of art. And we can get aesthetic pleasure from all this precisely thanks to the ability to see and perceive colors. This ability is a very complex mechanism in which the brain and eyes take part. Let's try to understand in more detail this seemingly banal, but very interesting question.

Cones and rods

We can see and distinguish colors thanks to the capabilities of our brain. Signals and impulses are given to him by the eyes - natural receivers. The retina of the eye is responsible for the susceptibility to light, it is the most sensitive element. But the role of the lens should not be underestimated, because it is he who is directly involved in the formation of a clear inverted image.

In fact, our eye "works" like a camera. The retina can be compared to a matrix - it is also divided into pixels - rods and cones. And thanks to cones, of which there are about 7 million in one eye, a person has the ability to distinguish colors. Each of them has a connection with the cell responsible for transporting information to the brain.

Again, like the sensor of a camera, the cones in the retina are divided into three types, each of which is sensitive to one of the three primary colors - green, red or blue. Depending on the signals received, our brain forms an image, and we see a certain color. At the same time, it cannot be said that a separate type of cones is sensitive only to one color - we are talking about an increased susceptibility to it, which provokes a signal in the form of a wave of a certain length. It is the amplitude of the waves that is the main factor in the restoration of color by the brain.

What is color?

Color is the brain's response to signals coming from the cones. This definition is quite accurate. Light, like electromagnetic waves, can travel at different frequencies. Our cones detect the wavelength and transmit the received information to the brain. Such a simple scheme is actually associated with complex chemical reactions that occur both in the retina of the eye and in the brain. Literally in a fraction of a second, many complex processes take place. A person just sees the color.

It is easiest for our brain to perceive "pure" colors that have a certain wavelength. The perception of composites requires more complex wave processing. And it is on the sensitivity of the cones that the ability to see colors and shades depends. Even a rainbow is seen by many in different ways - for one person, all colors can be bright and saturated, while for another, they can be faded and cold.

Our eyes are unique

Now let's talk about another kind of pixels - rods. There are about 100 million of them in each eye. They “work” according to a different scheme - they send a group signal to the brain, using a special cell “assigned” to the group as a transmitter. Rods are more sensitive to light, but their reaction is hundreds of times slower and thanks to them a person can see and distinguish colors at dusk. In twilight conditions, the cones become practically helpless and the rods are included in the "work". That is why our eyes need some time to “get used” to a sudden change in light.

Continuing to compare the human eye with a camera matrix, it should be noted that our “processor” is millions of times more powerful and productive. In a fraction of a second, the brain is able to process millions of impulses and produce an accurate and correct result. No technology is capable of such a miracle.