Colour constancy is learnt when we see things again and again. If we see a red apple, our brain files that piece of of information. Next time we see a red apple, we recognise it. We don’t usually mind if it is a little more pink than the last one, or a little more crimson . We don’t usually mind if the light we are seeing the apple in, is a little more blue or a little more yellow. To most people, it is still a red apple because most people learn colour constancy.
But what happens if you don’t learn colour constancy? What happens if every time you look at an apple that someone else says is red, your brain challenges that suggestion. What if your brain says “Is that really red, or is that orange or even slightly green ?” What if your brain says “I know that apple is red but in that light it really looks yellow and in yesterday’s light, it looked orange.”?
Well, that wouldn’t be too bad if your brain was happy to just flick through all these colour possibilities, but it isn’t good if your brain just can’t process all the confusing information. And this is what it is like for me and my son. When we look at a colour, our brains tell us whether it does or doesn’t doesn’t match the light-waves. If there is red in a colour, but we don’t perceive enough red light, then our brain gets confused and we get all sorts of nervous system symptoms. These could be going hot or cold, getting a headache, a sore throat, feeling tight in our chest, getting indigestion or feeling knocked out of ourselves.
It is easy to think that these symptoms are just stress or some other health condition but we have tested this over and over again and they are always caused by the light.
Might you have symptoms you don’t understand? Could you have Atypical Spectral Sensitivity too?
I wake up every morning and sense in myself what is happening with my relationship with the light, and how it is likely to affect me that day.
I have made a discovery this year about the green light. I can often find green hard to look at, and so assumed I had a tendency to see too much green light. However, I have come to realise that sometimes I don’t see enough. Just now in February as the light is not at its brightest, and I perceive a lot of blue and violet light, I don’t see enough green.
As I feel green light in my shoulder, neck and jaw, seeing too little green light can leave me feeling pretty crabby! I feel that I can’t relax my neck and shoulders and I have pain under my occiput. And worse than that, my sensitivities are heightened through the roof. I particularly can’t tolerate the sound of the taps in our house and today listening to my husband take a shower, felt like torture. I tried putting music on, moving somewhere else in the house, but nothing worked. I felt the sound like a drill in my head, sending a jangled feeling all through my body.
Even writing this post, I feel jangled by the sound of my keys and the light from the screen.
The good thing is though that I know now that my most jangled days are when I see less green light. And knowledge is power.
The hard thing is asking for help on a day when I struggle to feel support. And my day feels all about survival. How do you live in a house where there are everyday noises when you feel so sensitive?
I don’t like dragging people down into my problems. I like my family to be happy and to have a calm home. But on days when my sensitivities are extreme, the most I can hope for is that we support each other and help each other through our feelings of helplessness.
It is not my sensitivities that nearly break me on the low green light days. It is having to let go of my pride and my need to make everything OK and everyone happy all the time. I have to feel enough in my broken state.
Seeing more blue light and less red light most of the time, I am looking for the red light in the atmosphere to balance my perception of the spectrum. I notice if I see less red light, that I feel less energy in my legs and feet than I usually do. When I perceive more red light or I find I can wear glasses to either block blue or enhance red, I suddenly feel more grounded and more secure.
Some days the light feels very strange. The roofs I see from my window stand out in their darkness and other black markings on birds appear differently to how they usually do. On those day the light also seems very bright. This might happen on sunny days in the middle of summer but can happen when there is lots of white cloud at other times of the year too. I can find myself squinting inside, even on a January day.
Hi, I have been making a lot of videos about how I perceive light and colour in a different way to those around me. I have often wondered if I am ‘seeing’ differently or ‘processing’ differently so I bought myself a spectrometer!
My Discoveries & Thoughts
I perceive light differently I constantly perceive subtle changes in the colour spectrum in the atmosphere. For instance just looking at the sky I can perceive when there is an increase in violet light or decrease in red light. I have been testing my observations with my spectrometer readings, and I find that how I perceive the light does not always tally with what my spectrometer picks up.
My brain sometimes processes the relative intensity of wave lengths in a way that is atypical. This means that I might perceive some wave lengths as less intense or more intense than I see on my spectrometer.
(incidentally my colour sensitivity is so extreme that I can’t look at the intensity of a colour spectrum so my husband removed the colour and sent me a black and white line graph for my observation.)
I feel the change in the light as much as I perceive it visually. I know if there is more violet light because I will feel more intuitive or suddenly have a desire to eat crunchy food. I know if there is more red light because I will feel more grounded and have a desire to eat softer foods.
I live by the light meaning that from when I get up the morning I have half an eye out to check what the light is doing. How I see the light affects all my choices of the day – what I wear, what I eat, what I do and how I relate to myself and other people. When I perceive more violet light I am more creative and intuitive. When I perceive more red light I am more into my home projects. When I perceive more yellow light I enjoy relationship with other people more.
My imbalanced way of seeing the light moves me and shapes me. It sharpens my intellect, helps me tune into my emotions and heightens my creativity and intuition.