New Discovery: Seeing in Color

A report in Science Advances suggests our eyes may see color a bit differently than previously thought. A new study shows that color vision works like a colorized black-and-white movie.

According to earlier research, three types of cells in the retina—called cone cells—are responsible for color vision. These cone cells detect red, green, and blue light and send messages to the brain, where color is then perceived. New findings show that the retina plays a stronger role in color vision.

Red and green cone cells come in two sub-types—one that detects red or green and one that detects white or the absence of white (black). Large numbers of these white-black cells actually create a high-resolution black-and-white image of what a person sees and the other cone cells fill in the color.

These new findings could be good news for people with color vision deficiency, or color blindness. Gene therapy to add red or green cone cells could one day be used improve color vision.

Image Credit: Thinkstock

Sourced from: Science News, Color vision strategy defies textbook picture