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Posts Tagged ‘color vision’

Whether you like our O2Amp “Oxy-Iso” for its applications in medical, colorblindness, or sunwear (see below), you’ll be excited to get the technology in Smith frames if you’re one of our first 50 orders starting today.

For a limited time, our Oxy-Iso eyewear will be in Smith frames. …the first 50 orders beginning today.

We’ve been selling our O2Amp eyewear for medical and colorblindness purposes, but — the secret is — I have been wearing our technology for the last year for a different reason altogether. …as sunglasses.

Of our current three eyewear technologies, the Oxy-Iso has for me been the perfect sunglasses. Dark enough for sunny days, but what’s fantastic about it is that it enhances how everyone looks around me in a way that’s frankly a joy. We hadn’t anticipated this — this cosmetic side to our technology. Nor did we figure that one might actually enjoy this enhanced view of people and their emotional skin states. I personally love it!

The Oxy-Iso enhances and isolates perception of variations in the oxygenation of blood just under the skin of those around you, but it blocks perception of variations in the concentration of blood under the skin. People, and their skin, look better both for what the Oxy-Iso amplifies, and for what it blocks. Seeing the enhanced variations in oxygenation mimics, we believe, what younger skin looks like. And seeing less of the variations in the concentration of blood helps diminish perception of skin irregularities. In all, people somehow seem more brilliantly vital and alive, although that’s not doing it justice. (The world also turns out to look great.)

We now have prototype polarized, non-pink, sunglass versions of one of our other technologies, the Oxy-Amp, so it will soon also be a candidate for sunglasses. It is this Oxy-Amp technology that is a strict enhancement to our color vision, enhancing the oxygenation signal by blocking very narrow bands of noise coming from the skin. By shading the sun at these noisy bands, one shades the sun smartly in those bands that actually hinder what color vision is principally for. But, alas, these darker versions of the Oxy-Amp aren’t available quite yet.

But the Oxy-Iso makes a great pair or sunglasses, and is available now. In fact, starting today we have a promotion where the first 50 orders of the Oxy-Iso will be inside Smith frames rather than our usual frames.

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Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, a managing director of O2Amp, and the author of HARNESSED: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man and THE VISION REVOLUTION. He is finishing up his new book, HUMAN 3.0, a novel about our human future, and working on his next non-fiction book, FORCE OF EMOTION.

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ABC Nightline‘s Bill Weir talked with me about our O2Amp technology, and our Oxy-Iso’s ability to aid with colorblindness.

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Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, a managing director of O2Amp, and the author of HARNESSED: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man and THE VISION REVOLUTION. He is finishing up his new book, HUMAN 3.0, a novel about our human future, and working on his next non-fiction book, FORCE OF EMOTION.

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You’ve heard about our O2Amp eyewear designed for viewing people — their health and emotions.

Here’s what it’s like to look through them…

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Note that, by “good light is needed,” we mean outdoor lighting or a head lamp.

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And…below is the five-step training sheet for those new to the technology.

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Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man and The Vision Revolution. He is finishing up his new book, HUMAN 3.0, a novel about our human future.

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Christine Ottery (that’s not her above) recently interviewed me about bare naked skin and the origins of color vision, and she wrote up her piece in Scientific American. Read it here.

Also, note the “Lady Gaga” connection in the piece. This is not the first time “Lady Gaga” has been all over my research — the words, not the actual woman. She also comes up in a story about my research on the origins of music, which you can read here at Gaga-galore.

Let’s keep up the pressure, and perhaps Lady Gaga will hire me as her scientific aesthetics advisor…

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Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of The Vision Revolution (Benbella Books) and the upcoming book Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella Books). He is working on his fourth book at the moment, tentatively titled Making Faces, about emotions and facial expressions.

 

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EarthSky interviewed me in late 2010 about my book, The Vision Revolution, and the segment about the evolution of bare skin and color vision was the second most popular interview in that year. Hear the interview yourself here.

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Mark Changizi is Director of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of The Vision Revolution (Benbella Books) and the upcoming book Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella Books). He is working on his fourth book at the moment, tentatively titled Making Faces, about emotions and facial expressions.

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How do we know that your ‘red’ looks the same as my ‘red’? For all we know, your ‘red’ looks like my ‘blue’. In fact, for all we know your ‘red’ looks nothing like any of my colors at all! If colors are just internal labels, then as long as everything gets labeled, why should your brain and my brain use the same labels?

Richard Dawkins recently wrote a nice little piece on color, and along the way he asked these questions.

He also noted that not only can color labels differ in your and my brain, but perhaps the same color labels could be used in non-visual modalities of other animals. Bats, he notes, use audition for their spatial sense, and perhaps furry moths are heard as red, and leathery locusts as blue. Similarly, rhinoceroses may use olfaction for their spatial sense, and could perceive water as orange and rival male markings as gray.

However, I would suggest that most discussions of rearrangements of color qualia severely underestimate how much structure comes along with our color perceptions. Once one more fully appreciates the degree to which color qualia are linked to one another and to non-color qualia, it becomes much less plausible to single color qualia out as especially permutable.

Few of us, for example, would find it plausible to imagine that others might perceive music differently, e.g,. with pitch and loudness swapped, so that melody to them sounds like loudness modulations to me, and vice versa. Few of us would find it plausible to imagine that some other brain might perceive ‘up’ (in one’s visual field) and ‘down’ as reversed. And it is not quite so compelling to imagine that one might perceive the depth of something as the timbre of an instrument, and vice versa. And so on.

Unlike color qualia, most alternative possible qualia rearrangements do not seem plausible. Why is that? Why is color the butt of nearly all the “inverted-spectra” arguments?

The difference is that these other qualia seem to be more than just mere labels that can be permuted willy nilly. Instead, these other qualia are deeply interconnected with hosts of other aspects of our perceptions. They are part of a complex structured network of qualia, and permuting just one small part of the network destroys the original shape and structure of the network – and when the network’s shape and structure is radically changed, the original meanings of the perceptions (and the qualia) within it are obliterated.

The reason other qualia seem to be more than mere labels is that most of them have clear meanings and functions. We know what they’re for, and how they plug in to the rest of our network of qualia. For color, on the other hand, we have historically been largely blind to what colors are for, and how they functionally integrate with the rest of our perception. In the absence of knowing how to plug colors in to the rest of our qualia, they do seem much more rearrangeable.

But we’re beginning to know more about what colors are for, and as we learn more, color qualia are becoming more and more like other qualia in their non-permutability. Let’s see why.

First, even before describing some of the new insights on color vision, I note that most conversations about color qualia don’t seem to account for what has long been known about colors. Colors are not a set of distinct crayons with no connections to one another. Instead, colors are part of a three dimensional space of colors, a space having certain well-known features. The space is spanned by a red-green axis, a yellow-blue axis, and a black-white axis. These three axes have opponent colors at opposite ends, and these extreme ends of the axes are pure or primary (i.e., not being built via a combination of other colors). All the colors we know of are a perceptual combination of these three axes. For example, burnt orange is built from roughly equal parts yellow and red, and is on the darker side of the black-white dimension.

To perceive colors like I do requires, at a minimum, having the same color space as I do. To perceive ‘red’ without having (its opposite) ‘green’ also as part of one’s color space is impossible, just as perceiving ‘light’ would be impossible without also having ‘dark’. And to perceive orange without having both red-green and yellow-blue axes is impossible, because orange is a perceptual mix of red and yellow.

And that’s just the bare beginnings of the structure of colors. Colors are not only intricately connected to one another in a space, but are linked to many other aspects of our mental life, including other sensory modalities (e.g., a “red sounding trumpet”) and emotions.

In fact, in my research I have provided evidence that our primate variety color vision evolved for seeing the color changes occurring on our faces and other naked spots. Our primate color vision is peculiar in its cone sensitivities (with the M and L cones having sensitivities that are uncomfortably close), but these peculiar cone sensitivities are just right for sensing the peculiar spectral modulations hemoglobin in the skin undergoes as the blood varies in oxygenation. Also, the naked-faced and naked-rumped primates are the ones with color vision; those primates without color vision have your typical mammalian furry face.

In essence, I have argued elsewhere that our color-vision eyes are oximeters like those found in hospital rooms, giving us the power to read off the emotions, moods and health of those around us.

On this new view of the origins of color vision, color is far from an arbitrary permutable labeling system. Our three-dimensional color space is steeped with links to emotions, moods, and physiological states, as well as potentially to behaviors. For example, purple regions within color space are not merely a perceptual mix of blue and red, but are also steeped in physiological, emotional and behavioral implications – in this case perhaps of a livid male ready to punch you.

Furthermore, these associations are not arbitrary or learned. Rather, these links from color to our broader mental life are part of the very meanings of color – they are what color vision evolved for.

The entirety of these links is, I submit, what determines the qualitative feel of the colors we see. If you and I largely share the same “perceptual network,” then we’ll have the same qualia. And if some other animal perceives some three-dimensional color space that differs radically in how it links to the other aspects of its mental life, then it won’t be like our color space. …its perceptions will be an orange of a different color.

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This first appeared July 16, 2010, at Psychology Today.

Mark Changizi is Professor of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of The Vision Revolution (Benbella Books) and the upcoming book Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella Books).

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Jorge Salazar of EarthSky.org recently interviewed me about my research, and you can find the podcast and text here. I got a chance to talk about the similarity between accents and color vision (how we all believe we have uncolorey skin and no accent), the function of color vision (it’s for giving you that empath sense you didn’t know you have), and why we don’t have eyes on the sides of our heads (it’s for seeing better in cluttered leafy habitats, just the thing for a primate).

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Mark Changizi is Professor of Human Cognition at 2AI, and the author of The Vision Revolution (Benbella Books) and the upcoming book Harnessed: How Language and Music Mimicked Nature and Transformed Ape to Man (Benbella Books).


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