LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — White and gold, blue and black … or blue and gold?

The simple question over the color of a dress posted on Tumblr Thursday prompted 500,000 responses thus far, and has started a debate worldwide.

But the so-called dress debate begged a follow-up question: why did some see white and gold as opposed to the other variations?

“It actually brings to common attention something we find fascinating,” said Vivek Patel, a neuro-ophthalmologist at the University of Southern California Eye Institute.

“Your brain is subconsciously subtracting out some of the colors and adding in some of the others,” Patel said, and according to KCAL9’s Joy Benedict, allowing the mind to play tricks or fill in the blanks.

That is what caused some to see a white and gold dress and others to see a dress that is blue and black, Benedict said.

“So, how we process an image has the variability from moment to moment, person to person,” he said.

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