Lost after a stroke helps scientists understand how the brain distinguishes colors

Despite the presence of more and more advancedmedical technologies and techniques, much in our body is still unexplored. One of the biggest mysteries remains the brain. Of course, the general principles of operation and functioning of the main organ of the central nervous system are known, but some details are still not fully understood. And recently, a group of neurosurgeons from France was able to understand how the brain distinguishes colors. Moreover, a rather rare defeat of the central nervous system helped them in this.

Scientists still have not fully figured out how our brain interprets colors

But first, let's get a little deeperof that, but how do we actually distinguish colors? You did not think about why identifying, say, yellow, we call it that. Yes, we can say that this is just a name coined by us, which serves to better understand the world around us. And here we come to a very interesting thought: the processes of naming colors and their recognition by the brain are two areas that are independent of each other. Which are nevertheless somehow connected. By the way, scientists also argue that the brain needs to be trained regularly, providing it with new information. Our news telegram channel is perfect for this.

See also: Scientists were able to create an artificial brain in the laboratory.

Detect this connection (or at leastsuggest "where to look") French neurosurgeons from the Paris hospital Salpetriere helped not a very pleasant incident. One of the patients admitted to the medical institution suffered a stroke in the left hemisphere of the brain, after which a rather small lesion area remained at the site of the stroke. This had almost no effect on the neurological status of the patient, except for one point: he lost the ability to name individual colors (in this case, red, blue and green) and to name the color of objects if they were of the corresponding color. However, at the same time, according to more in-depth testing, a person has retained the ability to distinguish between shades of the same color and the difference between colors. That is, he could distinguish colors, but could not give them a name.

In fact, we perceive colors as"Continuous." That is, there is no sharp border between, say, red and blue. And yet, conceptually, we group colors into categories related to color names, ”says neurosurgeon Paolo Bartolomeo from Salpetriere Hospital, one of the authors of the work. It is assumed that the classification of colors depends on the outgoing signal from the language system to the visual cortex. It is believed that the names of the colors are stored in the left hemisphere of the brain and depend on the language activity in the left side of the brain. However, recent evidence confirms recent neuroimaging studies suggesting that color categorization is distributed bilaterally in the human brain.

Estimated location of color recognition zones

Thus, the doctors concluded thatthe perception of color and the assignment of a specific name to it - these are very few related processes. Our brain itself "came up with" how to build a connection between the color of its object and its name. This statement is also supported by the fact that the patient retained the ability to name and distinguish white, black and gray colors. This means that the systems responsible for recognizing these colors and their shades can be in a completely different part of the brain.

And finally, in order to make sureSince the patient’s reaction is not related to abnormalities in the brain itself, the researchers compared the functioning of the unaffected areas of the patient’s brain with the functioning of the same areas of the brain in healthy people. As a result, the authors of the study did not find significant differences in the structure of the central nervous system of the subjects.