By D.J. Raine;Edwin Thomas
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Extra resources for Black Holes - An Introduction
Surprisingly, the relative number and spatial distribution in the retina of cone cells varies widely among color-normal individuals, with no apparent effect on color vision performance (see Fig. 5; Brainard et al. 2008). This is an indication that normalizations take place in the system at a later stage. Implicit cone sensitivity functions have been measured for the first time with good accuracy in the laboratory of the German physiologist Helmholtz in 1886 (König 1886; see Fig. 10). The absorbance curves have been measured in primates and have been reconstructed from perceptual tests of humans corrected for the average absorption properties of the media in the eye from the cornea to the retina.
However, the signal path and its modifications along the path ultimately resulting in color perceptions are, as mentioned, as yet not known in detail. Opponent cells of certain kinds already exist in cell layers in the retina, followed by others in the brain. But the path is of such complexity that so far it has resisted detailed analysis. Further discussion is found in Chapter 3. Three detectors, in principle, could have resulted in three pairs of chromatic opponent color systems. The fact that we only have two may indicate there was no evolutionarily significant need for further, more detailed discrimination capability, as is presumably available to other species equipped with tetrachromacy or even more kinds of detectors.
There are only approximately 7 million cones and they are located primarily in and near the fovea, the slight indentation in the retina at the end point of the visual axis. Rods are absent in the fovea. When moving away from the fovea, the number of rods first increases sharply and then declines toward the edge of the retina. org). edu, printed with permission). Rods and cones are transducers in which the physical energy of photons is converted to electrochemical energy, manipulated, and passed along the optic nerve deep into the brain.