Seeing Color, Quantified (06-16-20)

Robertson, Cohen and Botch evaluated the size of our color field-of-vision and their findings are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.  The researchers report that they “used head-mounted virtual reality displays installed with eye-trackers to immerse participants in a 360-degree real-world environment. The virtual environments included tours of historic sites, a street dance performance, a symphony rehearsal and more, where observers could explore their surroundings simply by turning their heads. . . .  In your visual field, your periphery extends approximately 210 degrees, which is similar to if your arms are stretched out on your left and right. The study’s results showed that most people’s color awareness is limited to a small area around the dead center of their visual field. When the researchers removed most color in the periphery, most people did not notice.  . . . ‘We were amazed by how oblivious participants were when color was removed from up to 95 percent of their visual world,’ said senior author, Caroline Robertson.”

“How Much Color Do We Really See?”  2020.  Press release, Dartmouth University,