In the quote thread, Maris said:
As a psychology major, I will say that asserting "luminance only picutres do not get sent to the brain's visual lobes..." is bordering on rubbish.
At night, our cones are largely inactive and thus we are effectively only seeing with out rods, or "luminance" receptors. Does this mean that our visual cortex is not stimulated? Heck no! Any signal from our eyes will be sent to our visual cortex; afterall it's vision.
And just because we are looking at a black & white print, it does not mean we are somehow only seeing luminance. We are still seeing color, granted the subject is relatively neutral, but our cones are doing the heavy lifting even when looking at b&w.
I think it's a beautiful analogy about the power of black & white, but from a physiological standpoint it doesn't hold water.
Just happened upon this thread. Interesting subject.
In black and white, the lack of color distraction gives me more opportunity to enjoy the visceral nature of light and shadow. Things become more poignant, more striking. I can't quantify what it is I see (or don't see) other than to say it's simpler.
I guess that I could say it's like the difference between watching baseball and (american) football.
Black & white is often much stronger than colour, as it allows us to see composition and structure in a simplified way. In short a sharper cut to the chase message for the brain.