If you’ve ever found yourself at a paint store with a member of the opposite sex trying to decide between, say, “laguna blue” and “blue macaw,” chances are you’ve disagreed over which hue is lighter or looks more turquoise.

Take comfort in the fact that the real blame lies with physiology: Neuroscientists have discovered that women are better at distinguishing among subtle distinctions in color, while men appear more sensitive to objects moving across their field of vision.

Scientists have long main- tained that the sexes see colors differently. But much of the evidence has been indirect, such as the linguistic research showing that women possess a larger vocabulary than men for describing colors. Experimental evidence for the vision thing has been rare.

That’s why Israel Abramov, a psychologist and behavioral neuroscientist at CUNY’s Brooklyn College, gave a group of men and women a battery of visual tests. Abramov has spent 50 years studying human vision—how our eyes and brain translate light into a representation of the world. He’s curious about the neural mechanisms that determine how we perceive colors. [CONTINUE]

Tags: color, color vision, evolution, gender, genetics, light, sight

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