Asim asked in HealthOptical · 2 months ago

When looking at pigment, what are your eyes actually seeing?

2 Answers

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  • 2 months ago

    We can only see what the light energy (called photons) carries into our eyes where it impacts the rods and cones on the back of the eyeball, the retina.

    In general light energy come from two sources: direct sources (like the Sun or a flashlight) or indirect reflections (like off your favorite shirt or the hood of your car).

    When you see things from direct sources, you are not...not...see light energy from pigment.  This is pigment by definition:

    "A pigment is a colored material that is completely or nearly insoluble in water."  [Wiki]

    We associate pigment with the material that gives paint its color for example.  So we see color when light is reflected off objects that are colored using pigmented materials like house-paint or the hood of your car.

    So your eyes are actually seeing the light energy that is reflected from the surfaces of those areas covered with pigmented material.  The reflected energy carries with it information that your brain interprets both as color and as shape.  

    Your brain gets that information when the photons impact the rods and cones on your retina.  And the information in those photons are converted into elecro-chemical signals that are carried along the retinal nerves to that part of your brain that interprets those signals into color and shape.  And voila...you see.

  • 2 months ago

    They eyes are registering reflected light.

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