Color Vision in normal eyes
Color vision is the capacity of an organism or machine to distinguish objects based on the wavelengths (or frequencies) of the light they reflect or emit. The nervous system derives color by comparing the responses to light from the several types of cone photoreceptors in the eye. These cone photoreceptors are sensitive to different portions of the visible spectrum. For humans, the visible spectrum ranges approximately from 380 to 750 nm, and there are normally three types of cones. The visible range and number of cone types differ between species.
A ‘red’ apple does not emit red light. Rather, it simply absorbs all the frequencies of visible light shining on it except for a group of frequencies that is perceived as red, which are reflected. An apple is perceived to be red only because the human eye can distinguish between different wavelengths. Three things are needed to see color: a light source, a detector (e.g. the eye) and a sample to view.
The advantage of color, which is a quality constructed by the visual brain and not a property of objects as such, is the better discrimination of surfaces allowed by this aspect of visual processing.
In order for animals to respond accurately to their environments, their visual systems need to correctly interpret the form of objects around them. A major component of this is perception of colors. Normalized response spectra of human cones, S, M, and L types, to monochromatic spectral stimuliPerception of color is achieved in mammals through color receptors containing pigments with different spectral sensitivities. In most primates closely related to humans there are three types of color receptors (known as cone cells). This confers trichromatic color vision, so these primates, like humans, are known as trichromats. Many other primates and other mammals are dichromats, and many mammals have little or no color vision.
In the human eye, the cones are maximally receptive to short, medium, and long wavelengths of light and are therefore usually called S-, M-, and L-cones. L-cones are often referred to as the red receptor, but while the perception of red depends on this receptor, microspectrophotometry has shown that its peak sensitivity is in the greenish-yellow region of the spectrum.
The peak response of human color receptors varies, even amongst individuals with ‘normal’ color vision; in non-human species this polymorphic variation is even greater, and it may well be adaptive.
Blue Mountains Eye Study “The Blue Mountains Eye Study was the first large population-based assessment of visual impairment and common eye diseases of a representative older Australian community sample.” Risk factors for glaucoma and other eye disease were determined.