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The Kid Should See This

How does your brain help you see color?

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In this Seeing Color video, The American Museum of Natural History shares how our color vision works. How do our brains help us see color? Follow the rainbow of colors in a beam of sunlight. As it bounces off different parts of a beach ball, it reflects different colors to the cone cells in our eyes. Some details:

Every color stimulates more than one cone. Their combined response produces a unique signal for each color. Millions of different colors can be distinguished this way. Each cell detects a different part of the image. Nerve signals from the eye are sent to the brain along the optic nerve. The brain will decode these nerve signals to recreate the image. The optic nerve carries these nerve signals to the visual cortex, on the back of the head.”

light enters the eye
rods and cones detect colors

“The nerve signals arrive in the visual cortex… where an image begins to form. Various parts of the brain analyze color and shape, movement and location, and a conscious perception is created.”

Produced by AMNH’s Exhibition Department, Seeing Color is shared in concert with the museum’s exhibition The Nature of Color, open until December 5, 2021.

a rainbow of light
Watch these related videos about color and eyes next:
How do your eyes perceive color?
• How do our eyes and brains work together?
• How do eyes work & how do glasses help us see?
How do animals see in the dark?
• Close ups of the human eye
• Why Is Blue So Rare In Nature?
Colorscope, an exploration of color across cultures

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