What it's like to see 100 times the colors you see

An instrument will only tell you so much about the environment that it’s designed and calibrated to measure. If it’s calibrated to match the typical perceptual gamut of a trichromatic, then it tells you nothing about the experience of a tetrachromatic, a dichromatic, or indeed, someone whose lenses have yellowed with age.


A good spectrocolorimeter is a visible-range spectrometer with a function to calculate the reduced color values, compressing the many wavelength:value bins into just three values for the overlapping red/green/blue ranges.

This also offers the possibility to compensate the measurement for the not-perfectly-white illumination. The color we perceive is the function of the spectral characteristics of the light source, the transmissive or reflective spectrum of the object, the transmissive spectrum of the lens and the rest of the eye, and the sensitivity curves of the eye receptors. By acquiring the source-compensated spectral characteristics of the object, you then can mathematically simulate everything from different lights (e.g. how will the given paint look under a mercury tube, under high-pressure sodium lamp, on the sun, under a red LED…) to different eyes (yielding the values for given receptor sets - two for dichromats, four for tetrachromats, one for low-light scotopic, or three for conventional trichromat adjusted for lens aging).

Colorimetry is a quite involved area due to the number of effects playing a role there.

For ultraviolet, just go get some cataract surgery or poke a whole in your lens (I do not recommend this).


So, not ‘100 million colors’ or ‘100x more colors than you’, then. She’s seeing the same colors as the rest of us,. just in finer detail.

So, you haven’t experienced it first hand, therefore she’s probably trying to trick you? Also, she claims immortality?

Ok, nice chat.

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And that would be more true for her, than for you and I? Videotape reduces signal. It doesn’t remove all colors from it. The colors that are there will still cause responses in the same cells, and more will be seen by folks with this difference if looking at the same video, or even just. a. blank. screen.

Negative space. I’d wonder if you two see negative space the same way. You know, what you see IN BETWEEN things. I suspect you have extra ‘abilities’ there.

Also, what currency are you spending and being cheated out of here?

I wanted to say that the parts of this discussion where she is being challenged are remarkably intolerant.

I was going to say bigoted, but then I realized, if you have no imagination, how could you imagine what it is like for someone else?

Of course you’re going to draw attention to her lies, otherwise someone might notice you’re not able to imagine anything. Keep the focus on THEIR differences, and away from your own. Classic.

Well, I’d be angry at the world, too, If I lacked the ability to listen, believe, trust, and imagine something I chose to read, without feeling cheated. But maybe I’d learn to stop lashing out at it and namecalling.

Worst super hero power, ever.


Is that what it’s about? I saw something similar today, but I thought it was a joke about being a “white power” ranger in the wrong area.

I like this picture though, before you see the lion’s head it looks like he’s holding a hamster in a tiny suit of armour.


Apparently it’s a good thing to keep secret about yourself, if the comments here are any indication. If you don’t make 'em feel less than, well, then folks here won’t treat you any different. But it is definitely HER responsibility to know when her experience will overwhelm your power to comprehend, and trigger your fear responses of reflexive doubt and contradiction and minimization and infantilization.

I’d also recommend being shorted, poorer, less popular, and not white if you want to not getting challenged by the insecure when you share your experience. They weren’t there so it didn’t happen unless you explain it in THEIR terms. Just take their word for that and adapt to THEIR reality. Meeting in the middle is clearly for simps and suckers.

Probably would help to have a dick and a college degree in a technical field, otherwise you’re fairly asking for it, being unique like that.

There are a few commenters in here who are absolutely not being who Mr. Rogers knew they could be. I bet those same folks never stopped to consider how day ruining their casual bullshit can be for people who care or are affected.

But I guess she NEEDS to be challenged. It’s on her for sharing, you didn’t even really WANT to ask, but someone HAD to? yeah.

Not your responsibility to be tolerant? It is hers, to conform? Fools.

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hmmmm You seem to be fighting awfully hard in her defense, that means you can see 100 times the color we normal folks can as well. This frightens and angers me. Stay right there, I’m going to get my pitchfork and lit torch.


I’m not fighting in her defense.

I’m offended on my own behalf, thanks.

What? I can’t hear you over all the wood I’m piling up to make a bonfire. You’ll have to speak up!


I thought we were having an insufferabilitly and shit slinging contest. I see that everywhere, ya know. :wink:

Periodically we get some popular magazine that announces that the tetrochromats are walking among us, and that they have one. Artists usually have a finely developed color sense, and women see colors a little better than men too, so I don’t doubt that she judges color better than I do.

What I do doubt is the word of some random writer who has done no testing, no study, who simply takes the word of some passing artist that “she’s different”.

When you have a clear statement from someone who works in the vision sciences, then I’ll take this seriously.


So will it give a different reading if Concetta Antico uses it? I don’t understand how that will measure the difference between what I see and what she sees.


It would resolve the philosophical uncertainty of whether or not we are observing the same thing(s). Our perception of that thing is another story.

I think that you were referring to there later while @Shaddack was referring to the former.

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Not quite the worst.

i wonder if being a tetrachromat would make the farnsworth-munell-- http://www.color-blindness.com/farnsworth-munsell-100-hue-color-vision-test/ --easier or harder? depending on the monitor, i score 0-3 when i take it.

ooh, ooh! i have one of those. i can cure hiccups by having the sufferer look into my eyes for about 15-20 seconds. it isn’t much but as a sixth grade teacher it does come in handy at points.