If you recall about four years ago, the entire world was caught up in a question that drove brother against brother and tore families apart.
Was 'The Dress' white and gold or black and blue? Well, almost half a decade later, we're back in the same situation with a shoe that looks either grey and teal or pink and white. We did a quick poll in the office and found that out of a group of seven people, only two saw it as pink and white. Everyone else saw grey and teal.
When we pushed the two weirdos who saw pink and white, they explained that they assumed the shoe was white because shoes are often white. Were they right? Sort of.
To begin with, the process has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with either side of your brain being dominant as some posts on Facebook have claimed. It's also not an optical illusion either. It has to do with neuroscience, yes, but specifically how you assume illumination - light, in other words - in any given image.
In the simplest explanation possible, your brain automatically assumes an image's colours and manner of lighting without even you even consciously thinking about it. It's sort of like your brain creating a shortcut because understanding and examining where the light comes from, how the shadows fall on the shoe, where the colours land just takes too long. Your brain just processes it based on what it's seen before, and then relays the information back to you and tells you that it's grey and teal or pink and white.
In fact, an extensive study in the Journal of Vision in 2017 that covered The Dress phenomenon found that by "by manipulating the observers' assumptions prior to seeing the photo, we can steer how observers will see the colors of the dress." It's the same with the shoes - your brain automatically assumes the colours based on past experiences and reads it back as either grey and teal or pink and white.
Case closed. Return to your homes. Nothing to see here.