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How Do We See Colours?

our eyes and colour

Do you like green? Do you want your favourite colour, pink? Have you thought about what made the sky blue in your eyes or why your hair is that colour. Thanks to our eyes, we can see these colours through them. All these, of course, couldn’t be accomplished without the brain.

About six things occur between our eyes and brain for us to see colours the way they are. In this article, we’ll look at the steps involved in seeing a rainbow.

Steps to Seeing a Rainbow

1. A rainbow has a variety of striking colours on it; when a ray of light hits –say the yellow part- it absorbs some amount of the wavelength and reflects the remaining. So all the recalled light waves that bounce off the shirt go straight into your eyes. And that is just the beginning of the six steps.

2. The “Retina” located at the back of the eyes contains some special cells known as rods and cones. The primary work of these cells is to detect any light and notify the brain about it. Different wavelengths are seen by other rods and cones.

3. When the rods and cones detect any light, they transfer signals to the brain via the “Optic Nerve”. The nerves take the electric signs on all sides of the brain.

4. A part of the brain known as the “Thalamus” is connected to the optic nerves. The thalamus receives signals from various senses, including light from the optic nerve. Then, it will further process the signals,   refine them into particular details, and forward them to an area in the back of the brain known as the “visual cortex”.

The visual cortex is part of the occipital lobe, containing cells that find and manage details. So, certain cells recognise specific colours and shapes for a rainbow. All signals combine to make it the rainbow.

6. The image formed so far travels around the brain and goes to the “prefrontal cortex” located beyond the eyes and behind the forehead. This is where the brain gathers and processes all the acquired information and attaches it to memories and emotions.

All this together assists us in making sense of a rainbow, seeing its different shapes and shapes, feeling its quality and loving it. When the brain recognises a familiar object, it takes 300 milliseconds to see a rainbow. Unfamiliar recognition takes about 700 milliseconds, while 3D recognition takes approximately a second.

In conclusion, we see colours when different wavelengths of light stimulate our photoreceptors. The brain interprets this information, and we perceive the world around us in colour. If you are concerned about your ability to see colours, book an appointment with an optometrist.

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