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How do we see color?
Question Date: 2019-11-13
Answer 1:

To understand how color works, we need to look a little closer into how the human eye is constructed, see basic anatomy of the eye here

In the retina, there are cells known as photoreceptors that are responsible for our vision. Two types of photoreceptors exist- rods and cones. Rods are for vision are low light and don't contribute to color perception. Cones on the other hand are active a high light levels and contribute to color perception. These photoreceptors are color sensitive to three types of colors- blue(ish), green(ish), and red(ish). I add an "ish" because there is a distribution of wavelengths to which these photoreceptors are sensitive . Our perception of color happens when light strikes these photoreceptors and interact with the pigments inside.

It turns out lots of animals have cones that are receptive to wavelengths of light outside what we consider "visible light." Read more about it here . My favorite is the mantis shrimp. The Oatmeal (a webcomic) does a far better job at portraying the awesomeness that is the mantis shrimp, so I will let it speak for itself .

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