Send to

Choose Destination
Vision Res. 1995 Sep;35(18):2579-88.

Variation in color matching and discrimination among deuteranomalous trichromats: theoretical implications of small differences in photopigments.

Author information

Department of Psychology, University of Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Individual differences in abnormal color vision are well known. A fundamental unresolved problem is the great variation in color vision even among those classified as having the same color-vision defect. Several physiological hypotheses have been proposed to account for this variation but little consideration has been given to how (and how much) color matching and discrimination are affected by the posited physiological mechanisms. Advances in molecular genetics have renewed interest in this problem, which is at the foundation of the relation between genotype and phenotype. We report here theoretical Rayleigh ranges (chromatic discrimination) and quantal matches for deuteranomalous trichromats with photopigments in the red/green range that vary in their separation and optical density. The results show there is relatively little loss of discrimination with pigments of normal optical density separated by as little as 2-3 nm. With pigments separated by 4 nm or less, however, optical density can strongly influence discrimination when varied independently in the two types of cone. Moderately lower (or higher) optical density in only one cone-type affects discrimination by altering the shape of the cone's relative spectral sensitivity function. The lack of correlation between Rayleigh-match midpoint and range, which is reported in the literature, may be accounted for by independent variation in pigment separation and optical density.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center