Vision adjusts to the new visual environment to retain proper perception. The visual system may develop the ability to quickly adapt to frequent environmental changes through a process known as “visual mode flipping.” As an illustration, after wearing red spectacles, participants reported that the redness of the glasses immediately diminished.
For a study, researchers examined two questions: Does daily practice adequate to learn to switch visual modes, and do the effects of mode switching extend to the majority of the environmental change-affected stimuli? In Experiment 1, they looked at how 12 individuals’ perceptions of the distinct yellow color—which contains neither red nor green—changed after wearing bright red spectacles for a single 5-hour period each day for five days. Experiment 2 examined the effects of mode switching on broader regions of the color space. They utilized a dissimilarity rating task to test and track participants’ perception of a wide range of colors while they put on and took off the glasses many times each day for 5 days.
Thirteen participants immediately after donning the glasses, the environment seemed less and less reddish throughout the course of days (Experiment 1), and colors appeared more and more regular (Experiment 2). The findings suggested that mode switching may be learned from a single everyday experience and that it applies to most environmental cues.
The results could aid in making predictions about how and when mode transition happens outside of the lab.