MadSci Network: Neuroscience

Re: To what color are the eye and the brain most sensitive? Are they different?

Date: Mon May 29 21:06:27 2000
Posted By: James Clack, Faculty, Biology, Indian Univ - Purdue Univ
Area of science: Neuroscience
ID: 956183803.Ns

Actually, the color that the eye is most sensitive to is green (actualy 
blue-green), with a "spectral sensitivity" peaking at 500 nm (green).  
However, this green light sensitivity, detected by the rods in the 
periphery of the eye, is interpreted by the brain as "white," forming a 
black and white image.  Rods are 10-100 times as sensitive to light (in 
terms of photons absorbed) as cones, which respond to three different 
colors of light, red, green and blue.

Processing of color vision is extrmely complex, following a combination of 
two types of processing: color oponency and trichromatic processing.  This 
occurs initially at the ganglion cell level (contained in the retina of 
the eye) and allows cells to differentiate between colors by using input 
from two sets of cones, thus differentiating between the two colors by 
being stimulated or inhibited.

Ultimately, the brain can only perceive what the retina of the eye relays 
to it.  While your brain does some "image enhancement" such as edge 
detection, it is still constrained by the sensitivities of each of its 

Current Queue | Current Queue for Neuroscience | Neuroscience archives

Try the links in the MadSci Library for more information on Neuroscience.

MadSci Home | Information | Search | Random Knowledge Generator | MadSci Archives | Mad Library | MAD Labs | MAD FAQs | Ask a ? | Join Us! | Help Support MadSci

MadSci Network,
© 1995-2000. All rights reserved.