Tuesday, March 04, 2003

What numbers do you see in the random dot patterns to the left?

If you're normal, you'll see 25, 29, 45, 56, 6, and 8, although some may be easier to see than others. When I look at this same test, I can see 25 clearly and a thin-line outline of 56. The rest of the circles are just filled with random dots. That's because I'm red-green colour-blind.

It's hard explaining colour-blindness to people sometimes because they just don't get that concrete concepts like red and blue could ever be seen differently. I've always wondered how to show colour-normal people what I see when I look at tests like this and finally came up with a solution. I put the image into Photoshop and isolated the image into channels of red, green, and blue. When I isolate the red channel (the receptors I seem to be missing), I can see all the numbers clearly, as you all probably see it normally. When I remove the red channel completely, I get the image that I normally see.

Follow this link to see the test through my eyes . Note that this isn't a perfect solution, because the channel isolation does not give a full colour picture. Instead, it creates a black and white contrast shot that shows the varying levels of a particular colour. So when you follow that link, realize I don't see things in black & white -- there are definitely visible colours, but its anyone's guess as to whether my interpretation of red matches yours. For comparison, here's the contrast shot for a 'normal' person .

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