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Is it possible to imagine a new colour? watch

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    i discovered a new colour.
    its called bluredellow
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    (Original post by GottaLovePhysics! :))
    Ahh, but even if a mutation could ditect another em wave it wouldnt produce a new colour. When a wave is a frequency either side of visible light it dosnt produce a colour, even if you can detect it with your eyes. IR or UV may produce a diffent shade of the existing red and purple.
    However after these two groups around Visible light, the other EM waves will be impossible to detect (microwaves for obviouse reasons and X - rays.)

    Althouth if you want to, you can take a look at some gamma rays and see what colour you see :rolleyes:
    I disagree with you. I'm not sure we agree on the exact definition of colour.

    I think colour only exists due to our perception of the EM spectrum. In reality, there is just a continuous scale of EM wavelength/frequencies. That's all there is, it's all essentially the same but with different amounts of energy. Colour only exists because we have 3 receptor types that each have a response to a range within that spectrum. Hence there are 3 primary colours (note that these are different to the primary colours when mixing paint) and all other colours are just combinations of these 3.

    Infra-red is called that because it is past the part of the spectrum we perceive as red. It is not itself red. It can't be because we can't see it. If someone were to have a new type of receptor that could see it, why would they see it as red? It's not the "red" receptor that is reacting to it, it's this new receptor. The range of the red receptor hasn't increased, there is an entirely new receptor. So I think that would be perceived as en entirely new colour that is not red.
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    Maybe OP's friend has suffered some form of brain damage and is now percieving colour differently. The problem with colour is it's totally subjective and abstract, and even then, people have different thersholds for what's green/blue ect. There have been studies which have shown it's possible to change people's colour perception to an extent.

    But all the colours we can see already exist, you can't "imagine" one into being, although it's theoretically possible it might not have a name, chances are it does.

    If he is genuinely convinced he can see a new colour all of a sudden I would get him to a doctors.
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    (Original post by Psyk)
    I disagree with you. I'm not sure we agree on the exact definition of colour.

    I think colour only exists due to our perception of the EM spectrum. In reality, there is just a continuous scale of EM wavelength/frequencies. That's all there is, it's all essentially the same but with different amounts of energy. Colour only exists because we have 3 receptor types that each have a response to a range within that spectrum. Hence there are 3 primary colours (note that these are different to the primary colours when mixing paint) and all other colours are just combinations of these 3.

    Infra-red is called that because it is past the part of the spectrum we perceive as red. It is not itself red. It can't be because we can't see it. If someone were to have a new type of receptor that could see it, why would they see it as red? It's not the "red" receptor that is reacting to it, it's this new receptor. The range of the red receptor hasn't increased, there is an entirely new receptor. So I think that would be perceived as en entirely new colour that is not red.
    Im despretly trying to find an artical I read about goldfish and thier ability (or unablity) to see diffrent colours from humans. However after 10 min of googling, is just not happening.
    I had a feeling it talked about infared but scince Im not able to find it this moment, im thinking you might be right here. I have a feeling when infared is used by animals it sees white as heat, but im unsure, and hope not to sound foolish haha.
    Im going to ask my teacher wensday and not worry bout it tonight :yep:
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    If this fourth primary colour existed, and someone could experience it, I don't think anyone else could actually imagine what that would be like. The philosopher Thomas Nagel says any reductive analysis of the mental would fail to capture the subjective character of experience. He used the example of bats - we can't actually imagine what it's like to be a bat, because what it's like to be a bat is forever closed off to us, that's the nature of consciousness, it's subjective.

    Some people disagree though, there's a school of thought called eliminative materialism which thinks 'consciousness' is objectively reducible, and so this fourth primary colour would be analyzable.

    There's a thought experiment called 'Mary's Room' about qualia of colour which may have relevance here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary's_Room
 
 
 
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