[Neuroscience] Color and Vision

zaphod at myrealbox.com zaphod at myrealbox.com
Wed Aug 9 19:16:09 EST 2006

In writing about Technicolor for my next book on cinema I've become
interested in how people see color.  I'm trying to figure out, first,
what it meant to leave out blue in the first experiments with 2-strip
Technicolor, and, second, what the thinking was in choosing the final
colors in 3-strip contemporary) Technicolor.  I've gone through a few
introductory and college texts (for example Gordon, *Theories of Visual
Perception*), but, either because I haven't understood the
explanations or because I haven't read sufficiently specific texts, I
still have at least two questions left.  These are:
     1. Do all people's cones register the same three sets of light
frequencies, or do people register even slightly different frequencies
(hues?) of blue, red, and green?  In other words, is the optimal
frequency in nanometers of light absorbed by the three different cones
the same across all human beings (appr. 445nm, 535nm, and 575nm)?
     2. To what degree are primary colors really "primary"?  In
other words, to what degree do they correctly refer to the way in which
the three different cones reflect light?  Is it safe to say, for
example, that some degree of subjectivity exists in assigning red,
yellow, and blue (or red, green, and blue; CYM, etc.) as primary
Thank you.

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