Remember back in 2015, the world lost its s**t over that dress we all saw in different colours? Blue and black of white and gold (we totally saw white and gold by the way). Well, science has now proven it’s all down to what time we wake up.
Here is the dress in question that Caitlyn McNeill from Scotland uploaded to Instagram after realising her friends all saw her dress differently:
Everyone waded in on it from Justin Bieber to Anna Kendrick, Kim Kardashian and Taylor Swift – people literally lost it.
If that's not White and Gold the universe is falling apart. Seriously what is happening????
— Anna Kendrick (@AnnaKendrick47) February 27, 2015
And for everyone asking I see blue and black
— Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) February 27, 2015
What color is that dress? I see white & gold. Kanye sees black & blue, who is color blind?
— Kim Kardashian West (@KimKardashian) February 27, 2015
The dress was in fact blue and black, as confirmed by the woman who owns it and the store who made it, Roman Originals. Although, the story went so viral, the shop actually went on to make it in white and gold.
But the real question is why did we all see it so differently? It hurt my brain trying to make the dress look blue, so how could someone else see it so easily?
Scientists among us tried to explain on YouTube why shadows and over-exposure were the cause of the difference which is true. But now, a New York University neuroscientist has put the theories to the test with 13,000 participants, so it’s pretty legit.
According to NYU: “In a new study, New York University neuroscientist Pascal Wallisch concludes that these differences in perception are due to our assumptions about how the dress was illuminated.”
His findings showed that if your brain had decided the dress was photographed in a shadow, you saw it as white and gold. If your brain thought it was illuminated artificially, you saw it as blue and black. Our brains are too clever for our own good it seems.
Wallisch said: “Shadows are blue, so we mentally subtract the blue light in order to view the image, which then appears in bright colors—gold and white,”
“However, artificial light tends to be yellowish, so if we see it brightened in this fashion, we factor out this color, leaving us with a dress that we see as black and blue.
“This is a basic cognitive function: to appreciate the color on an object, the illumination source has to be taken into account, which the brain does continuously.”
Still confused why our brains did this? Us too…
Well, Wallisch’s theory was that if you’re a lark (early riser and you go to bed late,) your world is lit up by a blue sky as you’re outside more, so you’re more likely to see the dress as white and gold. If you’re a night owl (spend more time inside, go to bed earlier and love a cheeky lie-in), then the dress would be blue and black. His results proved it.
This guy on TouTube explains things pretty well:
So what we’re saying is, Justin, Taylor and Kanye you need to stop lazing around. But Anna and Kim? You go girls!
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