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Vision Res. 2003 Feb;43(3):227-36.

Cone pigment variations in four genera of new world monkeys.

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Neuroscience Research Institute and Department of Psychology, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA 93106, USA.


Previous research revealed significant individual variations in opsin genes and cone photopigments in several species of platyrrhine (New World) monkeys and showed that these in turn can yield significant variations in color vision. To extend the understanding of the nature of color vision in New World monkeys, electroretinogram flicker photometry was used to obtain spectral sensitivity measurements from representatives of four platyrrhine genera (Cebus, Leontopithecus, Saguinus, Pithecia). Animals from each genus were found to be polymorphic for middle to long-wavelength (M/L) sensitive cones. The presence of a short-wavelength sensitive photopigment was established as well so these animals conform to the earlier pattern in predicting that all male monkeys are dichromats while, depending on their opsin gene array, individual females can be either dichromatic or trichromatic. Across subjects a total of five different M/L cone pigments were inferred with a subset of three of these present in each species.

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