Earlier this month, Will Smith shared a video discussing a pic of a Vans Old Skool sneaker that was originally posted to Twitter back in 2017. The shoe supposedly changes colour – pink and white or grey and green – based on whether the viewer’s brain is left or right dominant.
“What colour do you see?” he asks in the clip. “Show five or six people around you and ask them what they see. I think you’ll be surprised. There’s no right answer. But ... it’s definitely not pink!”
Singer Lizzo shared the shot on her account too, further fuelling the debate.
"I see grey and teal, but my whole team sees pink and white, help,” she captioned it.
Here’s the thing: the idea that we use one side of our brain more than another (and that it determines how creative/analytical we are) is actually a myth. Sorry. Reality is, thanks to something called the corpus callosum, both sides of the brain work together when performing tasks. Although sometimes activity can be higher in certain parts over others, depending on what we’re doing at the time.
“The pop psychology notion of a left brain and a right brain doesn’t capture their intimate working relationship,” science writer Carl Zimmer explained in an article for Discover. “The left hemisphere specializes in picking out the sounds that form words and working out the syntax of the words, for example, but it does not have a monopoly on language processing. The right hemisphere is actually more sensitive to the emotional features of language, tuning in to the slow rhythms of speech that carry intonation and stress."
So now that theory is officially off the table, why *do* we all see the sneaker differently? Experts put it down to how each individual perceives light, although what’s top of mind for the viewer also plays a part too.
The medical marvel that is the human brain, eh?