California Optometrists Weigh in on ‘The Dress Phenomenon’

0227_crazydressThere’s a lot more to vision than just the eye. Have you ever seen one of those prints where you stare at it long enough until you see the underlying subliminal image? That’s similar to how you see the dress.

The answer: Yes. It’s blue and black (sorry team white/gold).

That doesn’t mean you have anything wrong with your eyes. “There is no specific pattern to the variation in this observation,” says David Ardaya, OD. “Although there may be genetic propensities in color vision deficiencies between men and women, this is primarily a matter of color constancy.”

“Color constancy is where color tends to look the same under widely different viewing conditions. In the case of this dress, our visual cortex interprets the color based on the type of light we perceive to have fallen on it and surrounding it,” says Jason Tu, OD. “We can’t really see the surrounding background so we don’t know what type of light is on this dress – so if our brain were to assume that the background light is natural daylight, it would perceive a certain set of colors as opposed to if we assume the background light to be artificial light.”

Long story short – team blue and black wins. But fear not, team white and gold – for you can see a new perspective on the colors this world has to offer.