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Nocturnal colour vision - not as rare as we might think

Kelber, Almut LU and Roth, Lina LU (2006) In Journal of Experimental Biology 209(5). p.781-788
Abstract
The dual retina of humans and most vertebrates consists of multiple types of cone for colour vision in bright light and one single type of rod, leaving these animals colour-blind at night. Instead of comparing the signals from different spectral types of photoreceptors, they use one highly sensitive receptor, thus improving the signal-to-noise ratio. However, nocturnal moths and geckos can discriminate colours at extremely dim light intensities when humans are colour-blind, by sacrificing spatial and temporal rather than spectral resolution. The advantages of colour vision are just as obvious at night as they are during the day. Colour vision is much more reliable than achromatic contrast, not only under changing light intensities, but... (More)
The dual retina of humans and most vertebrates consists of multiple types of cone for colour vision in bright light and one single type of rod, leaving these animals colour-blind at night. Instead of comparing the signals from different spectral types of photoreceptors, they use one highly sensitive receptor, thus improving the signal-to-noise ratio. However, nocturnal moths and geckos can discriminate colours at extremely dim light intensities when humans are colour-blind, by sacrificing spatial and temporal rather than spectral resolution. The advantages of colour vision are just as obvious at night as they are during the day. Colour vision is much more reliable than achromatic contrast, not only under changing light intensities, but also under the colour changes occurring during dusk and dawn. It can be expected that nocturnal animals other than moths and geckos make use of the highly reliable colour signals in dim light. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
colour vision, vision, colour constancy, sensitivity, night vision
in
Journal of Experimental Biology
volume
209
issue
5
pages
781 - 788
publisher
The Company of Biologists Ltd
external identifiers
  • pmid:16481567
  • wos:000236476100010
  • scopus:33645277632
ISSN
1477-9145
DOI
10.1242/jeb.02060
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
d9e79b7d-39c4-4110-8767-7c3e2a7f1931 (old id 414779)
date added to LUP
2007-10-07 15:10:41
date last changed
2019-08-14 01:52:27
@article{d9e79b7d-39c4-4110-8767-7c3e2a7f1931,
  abstract     = {The dual retina of humans and most vertebrates consists of multiple types of cone for colour vision in bright light and one single type of rod, leaving these animals colour-blind at night. Instead of comparing the signals from different spectral types of photoreceptors, they use one highly sensitive receptor, thus improving the signal-to-noise ratio. However, nocturnal moths and geckos can discriminate colours at extremely dim light intensities when humans are colour-blind, by sacrificing spatial and temporal rather than spectral resolution. The advantages of colour vision are just as obvious at night as they are during the day. Colour vision is much more reliable than achromatic contrast, not only under changing light intensities, but also under the colour changes occurring during dusk and dawn. It can be expected that nocturnal animals other than moths and geckos make use of the highly reliable colour signals in dim light.},
  author       = {Kelber, Almut and Roth, Lina},
  issn         = {1477-9145},
  keyword      = {colour vision,vision,colour constancy,sensitivity,night vision},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {5},
  pages        = {781--788},
  publisher    = {The Company of Biologists Ltd},
  series       = {Journal of Experimental Biology},
  title        = {Nocturnal colour vision - not as rare as we might think},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1242/jeb.02060},
  volume       = {209},
  year         = {2006},
}