Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Biol Lett. 2006 Jun 22;2(2):217-21.

Bare skin, blood and the evolution of primate colour vision.

Author information

1
California Institute of Biology, Sloan-Swartz Center for Theoretical Neurobiology, MC 139-74, Caltech, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA. changizi@caltech.edu

Abstract

We investigate the hypothesis that colour vision in primates was selected for discriminating the spectral modulations on the skin of conspecifics, presumably for the purpose of discriminating emotional states, socio-sexual signals and threat displays. Here we show that, consistent with this hypothesis, there are two dimensions of skin spectral modulations, and trichromats but not dichromats are sensitive to each. Furthermore, the M and L cone maximum sensitivities for routine trichromats are optimized for discriminating variations in blood oxygen saturation, one of the two blood-related dimensions determining skin reflectance. We also show that, consistent with the hypothesis, trichromat primates tend to be bare faced.

PMID:
17148366
PMCID:
PMC1618887
DOI:
10.1098/rsbl.2006.0440
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center