Is the shoe Grey or Pink?

Sujatha R
4 min readApr 13, 2020

Mystery of the Uncanny Vision.. On the bias and variance of the Human Cognition.. Anomaly Detection and Error Correction.. Dual Core architecture of the human brain

It was one of those Image and illusion related whatsapp forwards.. Perhaps quite old and not recent. However this one really intrigued me.. How is it possible I see blue and some people see pink?

Most of my friends spotted blue and teal.. Few of them pink and white.. And some of them mix of above.. grey and pink, blue and white.. Two friends saw it as pink and white in the morning and blue and teal in the night.

I had a few thoughts.. Was it a manipulated image? With both the colours added?

Was it happening in the structural eye? Or was it the mind that was behaving differently? Since the same person was seeing it differently at different times, perhaps it is to do with the cognitive processing in the brain.. but how?

I was recollecting one science video..

The world offers a plurality of views to its diverse species.. The senses are selective in picking up the range. The colour domain is a relative world.. The human lens does a UV filtering and transforms the colours we see. The insects see a different world.. The leaves look purple.. The male and female have bright highlights.. Glad that we see the way we see..

Well, that was a story of a different species.. Coming back to the plurality of the human eye.. I could not contain it any longer and googled about this picture..

It seems it was a flash photograph of a pink and white lace shoe. The flash light added that tinge of greenish teal colour.. So most of us saw it like what was captured by the photo.. grey shoe with greenish lace..

This is how it was seen by both the kinds..

However, some of us .. perhaps the calm right brained intuitive ones were able to recontruct the original colour.. Like an automatic noise cancellation filter.. Perhaps taking some cues from the absurd dark background, greyish hand colour, the darkness in the holes and the darkness in the stitches and compensate it in the reconstructed image..

Some people were able to see pink and white even in a zoomed in version.. Like automatically removing the bias noise component.

A friend had mentioned, his family could reverse their viewing by activating the opposite side of the brain through breathing..

It is amazing that the ancient seers nailed down the correlation between breathing and its affect in activating the opposide side of the brain.

Another way to see pink is to change the angle of viewing or observe it under bright light. It is kind of adding white light to the picture and compensating the noise.

It seems the calm intuitive right brain automatically uncovers the mask while the limited logical left brain like mine is busy tying to rationalize this experience:) Eventually I was able to see Pink a few times..

Coverage from Times of India

Possibly, it is not even linked to the left and right brain but plurality of cognitions..I wonder about the dual core architecture of our brain.. King Janaka had talked to his student about the exemplary execution of day to day roles and at the same time staying peaceful and unattached from inside.. Perhaps this is the purpose.. No matter what life throws at us, stay calm from inside..

The high performance and focus aiding left brain — through the circuitry of high calibration senses and network of comparators and accumulators enables rapid differentiation and logical explorations..

The energy conserving contemplative right brain is shelter for peace and calmness and enables pathways for unexplored dimensions..

A life lesson to appreciate the plurality of mindsets and viewpoints.. We cannot force a person to see blue when they see pink..

A case of the intuitive eye seeming to outwit the fragmented logical eye.. We have a very tiny understanding of this universe through our limited sensing and cognition..The eye illumines and reconstructs everything that comes in its way.. Plurality of visions for Plurality of species of a Singular Universe..

A few interesting videos related to the brain architecture



Sujatha R

I write.. I weave.. I walk.. कवयामि.. वयामि.. यामि.. Musings on Music, Linguistics & Patterns