Understanding the Remarkable Accuracy of Colour Perception

Speaker: 
Lorne Whitehead (UBC)
Event Date and Time: 
Thu, 2018-01-04 16:00 - 17:00
Location: 
Hennings 201
Intended Audience: 
Undergraduate

The Color Vision chapter in Feynman's Lectures on Physics nicely describes the well-established fact that colour vision arises from spectrally selective photo-transduction in retinal cells.  However, that picture offers little insight into the primary evolutionary driver for colour vision - the accurate perception of the colours of surfaces. I will describe how we know that people with normal colour vision perceive surface colours in remarkably similar ways.  Some of my recent work has helped to explain this and contributed to a newly approved international metric for the colour-rendering quality of light sources.  I hope that afterward audience members will be able to describe, in general terms, the complex nature of the colour vision system, and how this complexity yields simple information that usefully characterizes the materials around us.

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