Do color blind people detect camouflage better?

Do color blind people detect camouflage better?


Do colorblind people have the ability to see things that the rest of us can’t? Account the prestigious British biologist Richard Dawkins in his book «Unweaving the rainbow» that during the Second World War “bomber crews preferably included at least one colorblind member, immune to certain types of camouflage on the ground” to spot the enemy.

Although not historically accredited, this anecdote has been used to explain how the ability to perceive colors differently in people with color blindness could have an advantageous side and be used to see realities that remain hidden from others. But is it true that color blind people could detect camouflaged objects that trichromatic people would not?

For the past 30 years, international researchers have conducted experiments on primates and humans to support or refute the hypothesis of colorblind observers’ advantage in detecting camouflage. Some works support this hypothesis, while others not only refute it, but also affirm that observers with color vision deficiencies are at a disadvantage compared to normal observers. Finally, some studies also conclude that both colorblind and normal observers have the same performance in detecting camouflage.


Now, to test this hypothesis, a team of researchers from the Color Imaging Lab from the University of Granada (UGR), belonging to the Department of Optics, have made their own contribution and have carried out a series of experiments with volunteers that are now published in the magazine Optics Express and that doubt that this system had any real utility on the terrain.

In the new research, UGR scientists designed and carried out two psychophysical experiments with normal human observers and with observers with color blindness (both with anomalous dichromats and trichromats). The authors of the work measured the time that the volunteers took to identify the camouflaged object in two experiments: using natural scenes and synthetically created stimuli.

In general, the experiment with synthetic stimuli was designed using colors that are confusing to observers with red-green discrimination problems. In addition, patterns with additional color combinations to the traditional red-green used in previous works were included.

On the other hand, the stimuli of the experiment with natural scenes consist of complex images, which are usually more difficult scenarios for observers with color vision deficiencies (CVD), known colloquially as color blindness, interpret the elements present in the scene based on their color content.

Color blind and camouflage

The results show that normal trichromat observers performed better in both experiments (finding statistically significant differences in the experiment with synthetic stimuli). In neither case did any type of CVD observer perform better than normal observers.

In the experiment with natural scenes, the results coincide with those found in those works that conclude that normal observers detect camouflaged stimuli better than DVC observers. However, in the synthetic stimuli experiment, the results obtained do not coincide with those previously found by other scientists. In the UGR experiment, normal trichromat observers are quicker to find camouflaged stimuli for all types of color patterns, including the red-green camo pattern.

Better trichromatic vision

The researchers’ conclusion is that the differences found between normal observers and those with CVD are only statistically significant under certain restrictive conditions, and, in no case, the observers with CVD were better than the normal ones in these tasks. It is true that, in all cases, observers with normal color vision obtained better results in the search for camouflaged stimuli. In the experiment with natural scenes, the differences found seem to be so small that we cannot be sure that they are enough to be considered.

The prevalence of color blindness is around 8% in men and 0.5% in women globally. People with this condition find difficulties in their daily lives in tasks such as recognizing the poor state of conservation of some foods, noticing when the other person blushes, differentiating between players of different teams in sports, reading color codes on maps, correctly identify traffic lights or LED indicators among many others. These difficulties result in disadvantages compared to observers with normal color vision.

Font: Vozpopuli

Reference article:

Source link

Written by Editor TLN

Leave a Reply

YouTube will allow us to create playlists with music from the Shorts

The lack of consumption stops the economic reactivation of the center of the country

The lack of consumption stops the economic reactivation of the center of the country