The article profiles Concetta Antico, who is a tetrachromat and, as a lifelong artist, has naturally trained her brain to use this fourth receptor. As a result, she “can process more than 100 million colors compared to the average person who processes only 100,000 to one million.” Although it sounds hard to believe, Ms. Antico’s tetrachromat ability has been confirmed in a study by Kimberly Jameson, a cognitive scientist at the Institute for Mathematical Behavioral Sciences at the University of California in Irvine and Alissa Winkler at the University of Nevada in Reno. They are also principal members of The Human Tetrachromacy Research Collaborative, an excellent resource on tetrachromacy.
Although Ms. Antico’s gift is enviable, no amount of training will allow you to see color the way she does if you don’t have a fourth color receptor. Nevertheless, her case also highlights the potential to improve one’s ability to see by training the brain to better interpret the data sent to it by the eyes. We may not all have an untapped channel of data, but neither do most of us optimally process all of the information the eyes are taking in. Remember, exercising your eyes is, to a large extent, about training your brain. Ms. Antico herself is trying to use her gift and her understanding of how she has trained her brain, to help people at the other end of the “spectrum” - those with color blindness - teach their brains to interpret color.
- 8. Visualization - focusing on a color rather than an object,
- 33. Round and Round - use paint chips (like these Pantone color cards) instead of letters and try to work through the rainbow (if using a full range of colors) or from light to dark (if using different shades of the same color), and
- 39. Colored Dot Drill - make the colors more similar so that they are harder to tell apart.
I have never been great with color myself, so I’m really excited to play around with this. I’ll share what I find.
Age well my friends….