Academic journal article Science and Children

Answer to Last Month's A Bunny of a Different Color

Academic journal article Science and Children

Answer to Last Month's A Bunny of a Different Color

Article excerpt

Last time, I had you do a few activities that dealt with color and how your eye perceives color. When you stare at a red bunny and then at a blank sheet of paper, you see an image of a green bunny. When you stare at a green bunny and then at a blank sheet of paper, you see an image of a red bunny. While we don't have a complete understanding of how human eyes see color (and you thought scientists knew everything), we do know that there are things called cones in your retina (the back part of your eye) that respond to different frequencies, or colors, of light. When you stare at a red bunny, you are stimulating the cones' response to red, which eventually fatigues those cones. When you then stare at a blank sheet of paper, you see whatever color exists when you remove red, because your cones aren't able to respond to red for a short while. The color you get when removing red from white light is green, so you see a green bunny. Similarly, overloading the cones' response to green (by staring at a green bunny) make it so that you see red when staring at a blank sheet of paper. Armed with that knowledge, you should be able to figure out why staring at the odd-colored flag and then at a blank paper gives you an image of the flag as we know it. Lack of orange in the color spectrum makes you see blue, and overloading your eyes with black leads to a white image. …

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