Explain to me why the bowl of strawberries look red.
Last week marked the two year anniversary of the most annoying optical illusion ever: #thedress. To celebrate that, the internet gave us another illusion that people can’t get enough of – a bowl of strawberries that look red but are actually grey.
Here is how to explain that phenomena to a patient in 30 seconds or less.
Color constancy is the effect whereby “the perceived color of a surface remains constant despite changes in the spectrum of the illumination”.
That’s a fancy way to say, if you know the “true color” of an object (i.e. strawberries are red), this will largely override other considerations and our brain will do a little color correcting so we still see it as red. The effect would be the same if the illusion contained broccoli or a tomato. However, the details on how exactly that happens in the brain is still unknown.
Need a way to simulate AMD to a patients family member?
Regeneron (maker of Eylea) has created an app called “In my eyes” that gives care takers a visual representation of what its like to live with AMD or macular edema. This app can even be used with VR goggles to get a more realistic effect.
Or try out this really cool online vision simulator. You can enter any street address and it gives you a street view of what it looks like to have diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma and AMD.