What Colors Do You See?

Spiritual, October 2014

Spiritual News published this great bit, inspired by Concetta’s work pictured above!

We don’t all see the same colors. 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 colors 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 colors. 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 colors. The picture shows one of her works.

Share the Post:

Join the Color Queen!

Sign up to connect with Concetta for her news and updates.

We respect your privacy.