How Many Colors Can You See? Find Out with this Simple Test

By: Jon Corrigan

After that whole gold/white or blue/black dress fiasco, it became evident the ability to see color varies from person to person.

Why exactly is this? It spans from a difference in the number of cone cells each of us has inside our eyes. These cells, which function as photoreceptors, affect how many colors you can pick out in the visible light spectrum.

This simple test, created by Professor Diana Derval, will show how much your perception differs from other people.

Count the number of colors/shades you can see in the spectrum below: 

(Credit: Professor Diana Derval)

(Credit: Professor Diana Derval)

So, how’d you do?

Less than 20 colors – You’re a dichromat. Odds are you like to wear black, beige or dark blue clothing. You have only two types of cone cells.  Twenty-five percent of people (and all dogs) have this kind of vision.

Between 20 & 33 colors – You have trichromatic vision. You have three types of cone cells and the ability to perceive purple, dark blue, green and red. Fifty percent of people are trichromatic.

Between 34 & 39 colors – You have tetrachromatic vision. You possess four types of cone cells and can see almost all the colors in the spectrum. However, you probably don’t like yellow.

Only 25% of people can see all the colors in the spectrum.

More from Jon Corrigan

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