Dressing up for a BBQ on a blurry street: #TheDress is not only ambiguous in terms of illumination but also in terms of scene content

Jasna Martinovic (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Explicit or implicit assumptions about the source of illumination are a key determinant of perceived colours from the image of #thedress. Additionally, previous work showed that the extent of the processing of contextual cues in the image may be reduced in blue/black perceivers. This is a brief report of a questionnaire study which focused on the ambiguity of light direction as well as on the ambiguity of the content of #thedress photograph itself. We replicated previous reports about the importance of perceived light direction: white/gold perceivers were predominantly reporting light from the back. Descriptions of #thedress image did not relate to perceived colour or light direction, but there was a high overall level of ambiguity in the reports, which were often incorrect. It is highly likely that the ambiguity of image content feeds into the importance of implicit factors that influence perceived illumination as determinants of dress colour.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-4
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Early online date11 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019



  • colour
  • ambiguity
  • colour constancy
  • illumination
  • #TheDress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Sensory Systems
  • Ophthalmology

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