8 Crazy Facts About Color & Your Brain

by Arden Izzo
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My happiness hero Gretchen Rubin always talks about her fascination with color so I decided to do some of my own google research and was amazed with all the cool brain-based finds. Feast your eyes on these colorful facts:



1. Men and Women See Color Differently

The way male and female brains process information is different and color is no exception…finally proof that men and women really DO see things differently. In an experiment, men and women had to name the color shade of several objects and their answers were quite different. Scientists believe this is because males require a slightly longer wavelength than do females in order to experience the same hue. (source)


2. In Fact ALL People See Color Differently

Color is differentiated by how the brain reacts to different wavelengths of light. And because our brains all react differently, this means we may perceive colors differently too. (Is it possible that your RED may be someone else’s ORANGE?!) (source)


3. Chromophobia

Fear of color. Yes, this is a real thing. Post traumatic stress disorder is one of the possible causes but also cultural conditioning plays a role. There are even different names for phobias associated with specific colors! Fear of the color blue is called Cyanophobia; fear of the color yellow is called Xanthophobia; and fear of the color green is called Prasinophobia.(source)


4. Color Affects Taste

If you want your cookies to taste sweeter, put pink frosting on them! Researchers did several experiments on color and taste and results showed that people believe foods with pink and red hues taste sweeter. In addition, bitterness is associated with dark colors like black and indigo; sour is associated with yellow and green; and saltiness is associated with white. (source)


5. Red is the First Color Babies Can See

Did you know new-born infants only see in black and white? They do not begin to see colors until they are a few weeks old and red is the first on their radar. Probably because red has the longest wavelength among colors making it the easiest color to process by the developing receptors and nerves in the baby’s eyes. (source)


6. Yellow Makes You Dizzy

Is this picture making you dizzy? Dizziness and even nausea are sometimes triggered by bright shades of yellow because of the excessive stimulation to the eye. Many airplanes actually avoid using the color yellow to avoid sickness. (source)


7. Some People See in Tetra Color

In terms of our brain’s hardware, most people have three different photoreceptors behind their eyes. Color blindness can be caused when one of these receptors is missing or damaged but on the other extreme, some people are born with an EXTRA photoreceptor. This is called tetrachromacy and tetrachromats can see 100x the amount of color as other people. (source)


8. Taking a Test? Don’t Wear Red

Red is often associated with danger and it sounds crazy but several experiments conclude that if a person sees the color red before taking a test, it will hurt their performance. (source)

Arden Izzo
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