Sunday, January 3, 2010

UltraRed and InfraPurple

Suppose we made the following modifications to a normal human perceiver while, as much as possible, keeping all else the same: We increase the sensitivity range of the relevant photoreceptors to allow for the transduction of both higher-frequencies and lower-frequencies of EM than normal, thus expanding the visible spectrum into the infrared and the ultraviolet. Which of the following is the most reasonable prediction about what it would be like to see the new colors?:

  1. The hue circle for modifieds would gain one new hue located between violet and red. Further, for modifieds, red would not look as similar to violet as it does to normals. Red would look more similar to the new hue than it does to violet.
  2. The hue circle for modifieds would gain two new hues, roughly corresponding to infrared and ultraviolet. Red and violet would look even more different than each other than in option (1), with two distinct hues separating them on the hue circle.
  3. Something else entirely.