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Color Vision

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Color Blindness Meaning

Color vision is the tendency of animals to distinguish amongst various wavelengths of light, regardless of the intensity of light. Color perception is a part of the broader visual system and is regulated by a complex neuronal mechanism that starts with brightness entering the eye causing differential activation of various types of photoreceptors.

These photoreceptors, therefore, produce outputs that travel through several layers of neurons before reaching the brain. Most animals have colour vision, which is regulated by common fundamental processes involving common kinds of biological molecules and the complex evolutionary background of various animals taxa.

Color vision in primates might have evolved in response to selective pressure for a multitude of distinct activities, such as foraging for ripe fruit, healthy young leaves, and flowers, and also identifying predator camouflage and emotional states in several other primates.


When white light was separated through its component colours through a dispersive prism, Isaac Newton demonstrated that they can be integrated to create white light by transferring it via a separate prism. The visible light spectrum spans the wavelength range of 380 to 740 nanometers. This spectrum includes spectral colours like red, yellow, blue, orange, cyan, green, and violet.

The following spectral colours belong to a group of wavelengths: 

  • red, 625–740 nm; 

  • yellow, 565–590 nm; 

  • orange, 590–625 nm;

  • violet, 380–450 nm; 

  • cyan, 485–500 nm; 

  • green, 500–565 nm; 

  • blue, 450–485 nm.

Infrared and ultraviolet are the terms for wavelengths that are greater or smaller than this range. Such wavelengths are invisible to humans, but they are visible to other species.

Color in the Human Brain

Initial colour opponent processes initiate colour detection in the visual system (even inside the retina) at an early stage. Both Helmholtz's trichromatic hypothesis and Hering's opponent-process hypothesis are right, however, trichromacy occurs just at the receptor level, while competitor processes occur at the retinal ganglion cell level and even beyond.

The opposing colour effects of blue-yellow, red-green, and light-dark are referred to as opponent processes in Hering's theory. The function of various receptor forms in the visual system, on the other hand, is in opposition. L and M cone activity, which roughly correlates to red-green opponency, however, appears to be running through an axis across blue-green to magenta, is opposed by certain midget retinal ganglion cells.

The input from the S cones is opposed by the input from the L and M cones in tiny bistratified retinal ganglion cells. It can also be confused with blue–yellow opposition, but somehow it simply follows a color axis from yellow-green to violet.

The Subjectivity of Color Perception

Color is a function of a viewer's visual perception. The wavelengths of visible light in the visual spectrum and human perceptions of color have a complicated relationship. Because most individuals are believed to get the same mapping, philosopher John Locke recognized that other possibilities exist and identified one of them with the "inverted continuum" thought experiment.

Somebody with a reversed spectrum, for instance, would see green when seeing 'red' (700 nm) light and red when seeing 'green' (530 nm) light. However, this reversal hasn't ever been observed in a laboratory environment.

Chromatic Adaptation 

Color constancy, or perhaps the capacity of the visual system to retain the presence of an item under a broad variety of light sources, is referred to as chromatic adaptation in colour vision. A white page on pink, blue, or purple beam, for instance, may represent predominantly pink, blue, or purple beam to the eye; nevertheless, the brain compensates for the effect of illumination (depending on the colour change of nearby objects) and interprets the page as white even under 3 situations, a process known as colour constancy.

Color Vision in Non-Humans

Many animals could see a light spectrum that isn’t part of the "visible spectrum" for humans. Numerous insects, including bees, can sense ultraviolet light, that aids themselves in finding nectar in flowers. Plants which rely on insect pollination may be more effective at reproducing because of ultraviolet "colours" and patterns than because of how colourful they seem to human beings.

Birds, like humans, could see in the ultraviolet range (300–400 nm), and certain species have sex-specific patterns on their plumage which are only apparent in the ultraviolet range. However, many species who could see in the ultraviolet spectrum are unable to recognise red light or several other reddish wavelengths. The visible spectrum of bees, for instance, finishes approximately 590 nm, just before the orange wavelengths begin.

Birds, on the other hand, can see certain red wavelengths, but not as many as humans could. The popular goldfish may not be the only species that could see infrared and ultraviolet beam; their colour vision reaches into the ultraviolet although not into the infrared.


Color perception processes are heavily influenced by evolutionary influences, the most important of which would be considered to be the ability to recognize food sources. Color vision is important for herbivorous primates to locate suitable (immature) leaves. Color is also used by hummingbirds to identify different flower kinds.

Nocturnal mammals, on the other side, have very little evolved color vision because cones need enough light to work effectively. Ultraviolet light appears to play a role in color perception in a variety of animal species, particularly insects.

The optical spectrum, in particular, comprises the most popular electronic transformations in the matter and is thus very useful for gathering environmental data.

Color Blind

Color blindness (Color blind) is a condition in which a person's tendency to see colour or colour variations is impaired. It can make it difficult to do things like pick ripe fruit, dress properly, and read traffic lights. Few educational practices can become more complicated if you are colour blind. Nevertheless, many color-blind people adapt, and issues are usually mild.

Red Green Color Blindness: 

Protanopia, protanomaly, deuteranopia, and deuteranomaly are hereditary types of Red green color blindness that impact a large percentage of the population. Owing to the absence or mutation of the red or green retinal photoreceptors, those impacted may have trouble distinguishing between red and green hues. Since the genes for the red and green colour receptors are found on the X chromosome, where men have just single and females have two, hereditary red–green colour blindness affects males far more frequently than females.

Color Blindness Treatment: 

If the colour vision disorder is caused by the use of such drugs or eye disease, there are no therapies for most forms of colour vision issues. Color blindness treatment and better colour vision can be achieved by discontinuing the medicine that is causing the vision disorder or managing the underlying eye condition.

Type of Color Blindness 

Below mentioned are the types of color blindness:

  • Red and green color blind

  • Blue yellow color blind

  • Total color blindness

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FAQs on Color Vision

Q1. What are the different Phases of Color Perception?

Ans. The three photopigments make up the very first step, which is referred to as the receptor stage ( green, blue, and red cones). The colour opponency appears in the second stage of neural processing. Stage two happens at the post-receptoral stage, and it begins with the horizontal cell.

Q2. Do Humans Interpret Colors in different Ways?

Ans. Human tetrachromats fail to recognise outside the visible spectrum of light, but they do include an additional photoreceptor that is most responsive to colour on the red-green scale, allowing them somewhat more sensitivity to all colours inside the standard human spectrum.