Knoxville eye doctor weighs in on ‘The Dress’ debate


KNOXVILLE (WATE) – The dress debate has divided social media. Is the dress blue and black or white and gold?

A woman posted the picture on Tumblr Thursday night saying her friends were at odds.Previous story:What color is this dress? The Internet is at odds

The actual dress is black and blue, but why are so many convinced it looks white and gold?

“Our brain uses all of its context clues, and says, ‘Well, maybe there’s some background changes there.’ Something called luminents, and luminents, are the way that light comes from the background, as well as how it reflects off of what you’re looking at,” said ophthalmologist Dr. Matt Rouse.

Dr. Rouse says that can change what your brain thinks you’re seeing.

“And so some people say, ‘That’s a light background, and there’s a lot of light coming in there, must be low reflectivity in that dress. It must be blue and black.’ And some people say, ‘Well this is sort of a dark background, and its not reflecting very much. I see white and gold.’ So it depends on your perspective as to what you’re seeing, and your past experiences. Maybe you’ve seen patterns that look like that and your brain just fills in the gap,” he said.

The story of the dress ricocheted around the Internet, apparently breaking Buzzfeed’s traffic records with 16 million hits in six hours.

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