Fascinating Facts About Vision
Sight is arguably the sense that connects us most closely with our world. Yet vision is not always the black and white proposition it seems to be. There is a myriad of aspects of vision that are not completely understood or which don’t seem to make sense on a strictly logical level. Here are 5 facts about vision that may surprise you.
1. The Colorblind Sometimes Dream in Color
Some people who are colorblind are able to dream in full color. Whether they can or not seems to depend on when they went colorblind. If they lost the ability to distinguish colors later in life their dreams will likely continue to reflect the full spectrum of colors. If they were born colorblind, however, probably not. This suggests a possible link between memory and our experience of color. Though the exact implications of such a link remain fuzzy.
2. Seeing the World Differently
That men and women tend to “see” the world differently is pretty common knowledge. However, there may be more to that truism than meets the eye, so to speak. Research indicates for example that when a man and a woman watch the same movie the man will pick up on details and movement, while the woman will be more attuned to color shifts. Men are also more likely to watch a person’s lips while they speak, while women tend to alternate between watching the eyes and watching the body as a whole when someone is speaking.
3. Technicolor Women
Research also indicates that some women actually see colors far more vividly than the rest of the population. No one is quite certain why. These women are known as “tetrachromats” and they see bright, intense hues where others may see soft pastel colors. So far this seems to be a strictly female phenomenon.
4. Hearing Impaired, Visually Acute
Some individuals who are born deaf have enhanced peripheral vision. For some reason they are more in tune with even the slightest movement and changes in light at the edge of their sight. While researchers believe they discovered how it happens (the pathway to the brain that controls motion tracking seems to be more active in deaf individuals) they still don’t understand the why of it. It may have something to do with the brain compensating for the lack of sensory input from the ears.
5. Mood and Color Perception
Those who suffer from depression often complain that the world seems grey to them. Recent research indicates that may be more than a metaphorical complaint. A study performed on people suffering from clinical depression revealed that their retinas were less responsive than the retinas of others. This may be caused by dopamine shortfalls in depressed individuals.