Color Vision

The subjective experience of color involves three components:

1. Hue (normally thought of as color) is defined as the proportion in which the three cone systems are activated; 200 gradations can be recognized.

2. Saturation (the degree of dilution by grayness) is defined as the degree to which all three cone systems are stimulated based on their maximal response; 20 steps can be recognized.

3. Brightness is defined as the total effect of all three cone mechanisms; 500 steps can be recognized.

Color vision thus has 200 x 20 x 500 = 1 million gradations. Achromatic vision has only 500.

Photopigments of Cones

Individual cones contain only one of three pigments (Fig. 15). Short-wavelength (S) cones contain pigment primarily sensitive to short wavelengths with a peak

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