The human visual system color red Module

The human eye is a complex organ that enables humans to see colors, screens, objects, landscapes, maps and faces etc. Light reflected from these objects passes through the eye to the retina which filters the light and sends a signal to the brain which is interpreted as color or shape. When working properly, all eyes in human beings are similar in that different types of lights reflected off surface are interpreted in a similar manner objectively. However, based on individuals` experiences, the light can be interpreted in a subjective manner. This means that a given color such as red can produce different stimuli based on subjective experiences. This means that the perception of color in objective but the interpretation is subjective and guided by experience. A study by Tanabe et al. (2011) to experiment with physical colors and subjective colors using a Benham top revealed this. A Benham`s top is a rotating black-and-white pattern that fuses to form concentric rings of different colors. Using an MRI machine, the study showed that the cortical processing of colors which capture subjectivity differs with retinal processing of colors which captures objectivity. In essence, this means that the brain perceives the color red objectively and similar in all people with good working eyes but interprets that differently depending on experience and present conditions. Furthermore, color red cannot exist independent of the mind. As an objective color, color red should not change with conditions. As a subjective color, it changes with perception, lighting and stimuli it elicits. Odom (2008), says that conceptions of qualia, phenomenal character such as color are “imbued with and tainted by our pre-theoretic, folk-psychological beliefs about the way conscious experiences are for us (p. 82). This means that our initial experiences in perception of red cannot allow it to be objective meaning that it can only be perceived subjectively in an individualized way. Nonetheless, the color can be objectively oriented although subjectively derived. This is based on shared assumptions on what color red looks like which makes it objective. To people, they experienced color red in a subjective way though they tend to believe it is an objective way.
Odom, (2008). Color: Experience, Representationalism, and the Explanatory Gap. New York:
Pro Quest.
Rank, O. (2002). Psychology and the Soul: A Study of the Origin, Conceptual Evolution, and
Nature of the Soul. New York: JHU Press.
Tanabe, H., Sakai, T., Morito, Y., Kochiyama, T. Sadato, N. (2011). Neural Correlates and
Effective Connectivity of Subjective Colors during the Benham`s Top Illusion: A Functional MRI Study. Cerebral Cortex 21 (1): 124-133. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhq066

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