Why colour is in the eye of the beholder

James Fox in The Guardian:

For a long time, people believed that colours were objective, physical properties of objects or of the light that bounced off them. Even today, science teachers regale their students with stories about Isaac Newton and his prism experiment, telling them how different wavelengths of light produce the rainbow of hues around us.

But this theory isn’t really true. Different wavelengths of light do exist independently of us but they only become colours inside our bodies. Colour is ultimately a neurological process whereby photons are detected by light-sensitive cells in our eyes, transformed into electrical signals and sent to our brain, where, in a series of complex calculations, our visual cortex converts them into “colour”.

More here.