Do we all see the same colour? 每個人看到的顏色都一樣嗎?

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詞彙:sight 視力

Have you ever wondered if you see the same colours as other people? Most people know what blue is when they see it.  It’s the colour of sea, sky and sapphires. They see the colour and call it 『blue’ because they were taught the word and associated it with what they saw. But how do you know what you see as blue isn’t someone else’s red, and vice versa?

The ability to perceive different colours is down to receptors in our eyes known as cones. Light waves hit these receptors and they react depending on which colour the light is, sending signals to the brain. The brain then decodes these signals to determine which colour light the eyes are receiving.

Some people’s receptors are more developed than others. People with weaker receptors usually have colour blindness. The inability of the receptor to interpret the light waves correctly means that some people cannot distinguish between different shades of a colour.

Those with more enhanced receptors can see more shades of one colour, which is the first way in which people may see colours differently from each other. We sometimes hear people having an argument about whether something is dark blue or black. It might be because one person has stronger receptors to interpret the light than another.

In the past, most scientists would argue that everyone saw colours in the same way. However, research was conducted on monkeys, in which they were injected with a virus affecting their receptors. This enabled them to distinguish more colours than usual and brought an intriguing revelation. Normally monkeys can only see in blue and green, but the virus allowed monkeys to see red.

The neurons in their brains spontaneously adapted to be able to understand new colours, which might mean the neurons in our brains are not hardwired to automatically understand which colour is which. This implies that our brains and neurons may adapt depending on our stimulus during the developmental phase. Colour could be a very personal experience, unique to everyone.

So, the next time you talk about your favourite colour, just remember if yours is blue and your friend says red, you might actually be thinking about the same colour. What if everyone in the world has the same favourite colour, but just calls it different names?

詞彙表

associate 與……聯繫起來
perceive 看待,認知
to be down to 是……責任,取決於
receptor 感受器
cone 晶狀體,錐形體
light wave 光波
decode 解碼
determine 決定
colour blindness 先天性色覺障礙,色盲
inability 無能力
enhanced 增強的,提高的
interpret 理解,闡釋
intriguing 引人入勝的
revelation 被揭露的真相
neuron 神經細胞
spontaneously 自發地
hard-wired 本能的
imply 暗示,意味
stimulus 刺激
developmental 成長的,發展的

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. How many colours can monkeys normally see?

2. Why do people have colour blindness?

3. True or false? We all see the same colour.

4. Why do we 『know something is blue’?

5. What is it possible that the experiment on monkeys showed in relation to humans?

2.  選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1.You need to be a bit more _______ and innovative.

spontaneous                  spontaneity           spontaneously         spontaneous

2. The _______ of this decision are huge.

imply                             implied                  implies                    implications

3. I don’t enjoy _______ myself with them.

associate                       association            associates                associating

4. We need to give some toys to _______ the dog or she’ll destroy the house.

stimulate                       stimulating           stimulation              stimulates

5. This is an _______ of what I saw.

interpret                        interprets             interpreted               interpretation

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. How many colours can monkeys normally see?
They can normally only see two colours – green and blue.

2. Why do people have colour blindness?
The receptors in their eyes may be weaker or not as well formed.

3. True or false? We all see the same colour.
False. While people still aren’t sure if we see totally different colours, the level of shades we can see depends on the cones in our eyes.

4. Why do we 『know something is blue’?
Because we learnt to associate what we saw with a word.

5. What is it possible that the experiment on monkeys showed in relation to humans?
That our eyes are not hard-wired to automatically know colours.

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. You need to be a bit more spontaneous and innovative.

2. The implications of this decision are huge.

3. I don’t enjoy associating myself with them.

4. We need to give some toys to stimulate the dog or she’ll destroy the house.

5. This is an interpretation of what I saw.