The Dress and Individual Differences in Perception
The image of the dress that some see as blue/black and others see as gold/white elicited worldwide attention in 2015, including among many vision researchers. These investigators from France and Germany studied individual differences in the way observers perceived different surface properties and their relationship to the dress given the striking individual differences in color perception it elicited. They tested whether individual differences were due to a common source by which observers attributed features in two-dimensional images to surfaces or to their illumination. They found that the color perception of the dress was strongly related to individual differences in color constancy (whether a color is perceived the same in different lighting). They also found that the color perception of the dress was due to implicit assumptions about the illumination. These results suggested that the striking individual differences in the color perception of the dress were due to individual differences in the interpretation of illumination cues to achieve color constancy.
Witzela C, O’Regan JK, Hansmann-Roth S. Vision Research 2017;141:76-94.
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