By Ken MacLeod

BOSTON (CBS) – By now, everyone has weighed in on the great dress debate and pledged their allegiance to one side or the other.

The battle has exploded on social media.

Neuro-ophthalmologist Joe Rizzo of Mass Eye and Ear helps explain the science behind why we see different colors.

“The image hits an intersection in the subconscious mind between physiology and perception,” Dr. Rizzo explains. “Yes it is an optical illusion.”

At the MIT Media Lab, Micha Feigin, a post-grad researcher, shows us how our brains can process the same image differently based on the surrounding light and color by feeding entirely off its perception of white.

“Our brain keeps trying to correct what we are seeing and match it to some kind of reference point and that reference point keeps changing,” said Feigin.

With so many alterations of the photo online, this explains why so many folks locked horns over the color of the dress.

The dress is actually a perfect storm of photography, physiology, and psychology.

Ironically, the dress maker doesn’t offer a white and gold version of the dress, but after the viral debate, they will now.

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