Seeing Your True Colors

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It's amazing how we can perceive all of the different colors of the world with just three microscopic cones found in our eyes. These color detecting cones were discovered in 1964 by Brown & Wald. Each cone is sensitive to different wavelengths of light. Color blindness is caused when a person loses the function or is missing of one or more of the cones due to genetic abnormalities or traumatic brain damage. colorblind blog.jpgThe person is then not able to recognize certain colors. By only having one cone in your eye, you are considered to be a monochromat, which only allows you to see the world in black and white. A dichromatic person is only missing one type of cone, resulting in the loss of only a few colors.Animals such as cats and dogs are dichromatic normally and can only distinguish a few colors. Red-Green color blindness is the most popular type of color loss, occurring mostly in males. Often times it goes unnoticed because it does not really interfere with someone's everyday life. When visiting the eye doctor, you might notice a chart of circles that looks like this. If you cannot read all of the numbers located in the circles, then you may just be color blind, so take a good look, and maybe read a little bit more on the subject matter!


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I think that color blindness is particularly fascinating. My dad has red-green color blindness and for the most part it doesn't interfere with his life. When I was little, I came home from school to find neon pink spray paint on our lawn (it was there because of construction/electrical workers, but I didn't know it at the time). When I asked my dad why there were pink lines on our grass, he asked me, "What pink lines?" I brought him outside and pointed at the grass, but he really could not see the lines. A few weeks later, he went to the eye doctor and was told that he was color blind.

This is incredibly interesting! I have not had much experience with colorblindness in my life, but have always wondered what it would be like to not see certain colors. The picture you posted is a good visual. I can imagine only being able to see one color, rather than making the distinction between the two. Is there any way to treat colorblindness?

Your entry is very interesting! It provided a lot of facts about colorblindness that I was unaware of. It is very interesting to me to know how it works and how it can affect people differently. Not being able to see all colors would be a very different feeling.

Interesting blog! What fascinates me is the fact colorblindness is prevalent in males. Curious to read more on this subject.

Interesting post. I find it very strange that governments decided to use the color green as "go" and the color red as "stop." Considering that these two colors are the most likely to get mixed up because of color blindness, I can only imagine how many accidents color blindness has caused at traffic lights. I have a friend who is very colorblind and would not be able to identify that "45" in that picture if his life depended on it. Yet, he has a driver's license. Yikes.

Do we see "all of the colors"? What if we had four cones (like turtles and pigeons)? Or 19 cones like shrimp? Would we see different or more colors?

Nice blog. I find it really interesting that color blindness occurs predominately in males. I have noticed this in my daily life,like being asked why I, who hates pink, is wearing a pink shirt when in reality I'm wearing orange. What causes this to be sex specific. Is it an indication, i jest, that males are more animalistic? Here is an article I found that tries to explain this phenomenon.

I didn't know that color blindness was more prevalent in males, but thinking about it, the only colorblind people I know are males. I clearly can't even imagine what it would be like to not realize I'm not capable of seeing all the colors in the spectrum, but it is definitely an interesting topic to read on. Particularly the reasons behind why males are more susceptible to colorblindness rather than women.

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This page contains a single entry by riesn021 published on February 5, 2012 2:05 PM.

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