True color only exists in the eye of the observer

Frans W. Cornelissen*, Eli Brenner, Jeroen Smeets

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalComment / Letter to the editorAcademic


The colors we perceive are the outcome of an attempt to meaningfully order the spectral information from the environment. These colors are not the result of a straightforward mapping of a physical property to a sensation, but arise from an interaction between our environment and our visual system. Thus, although one may infer from a surface's reflectance characteristics that it will be perceived as "colored," true colors only arise by virtue of the interaction of the reflected light with the eye (and brain) of an observer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-27
Number of pages2
JournalBehavioral and Brain Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2003


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