Glossary

cones The retinal receptor cells that underlie vision for daylight conditions; there are three classes of cone in retinas of individuals having normal color vision.

metamers Lights of different wavelength compositions that appear identical.

opponent colors Pairs of colors that are perceptually mutually exclusive (e.g., red-green and yellow-blue).

opsin genes Genes specifying the protein component of photopigment molecules; variations in these genes can be mapped directly into variations in color vision.

photopigments Molecules located in photoreceptors that absorb energy from light and initiate the visual process.

principle of univariance Encompasses the observation that the responses of photoreceptors are proportional to the number of photons absorbed by the photopigment they contain independent of the wavelength of the light.

spectrally opponent cells Nerve cells that transmit information useful for the production of color vision; these cells combine excitatory and inhibitory inputs reflecting the activation of different classes of cone.

trichromatic The formal characterization of normal human color vision; derived from the results of experiments in which it is shown that three primary lights can be combined to match the appearance of any other spectral light.

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