Scientists thought they had identified this region decades ago, when they were able to pinpoint the color processing region in the brains of monkeys. They logically concluded that the human brain processes color in the same way as our nearest living relatives. However, neuroscientists at Harvard medical school used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify a region adjacent to, but distinctly different from, the color center in the monkey brain. They came to this conclusion by measuring the blood flow to various parts of the brain while subjects viewed colored and black and white images.

Even more remarkable than the location of the color center is what our brains are doing with this information. From the color center, information travels simultaneously to areas of the brain that are responsible for detecting motion, shapes, edges, and transitions. This happens even with subjects who are color blind. They may not be able to recognize different colors, but their brain still knows how to use this information to gain a more nuanced view of the world.