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Heidi Hofer, Ben Singer, David R. Williams; Different sensations from cones with the same photopigment. Journal of Vision 2005;5(5):5. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/5.5.5.
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We used adaptive optics to study color fluctuation in the appearance of tiny flashes of light. For five subjects, near threshold, monochromatic stimuli with full widths at half maximum of 1/3 arcmin were delivered throughout a patch of retina near 1 deg in which we also determined the locations of L, M, and S cones. Subjects reported a wide variety of color sensations, even for long-wavelength stimuli, and all subjects reported blue or purple sensations at wavelengths for which S cones are insensitive. Subjects with more L cones reported more red sensations, and those with more M cones tended to report more green sensations. White responses increased linearly with the asymmetry in L to M cone ratio. The diversity in the color response could not be completely explained by combined L and M cone excitation, implying that photoreceptors within the same class can elicit more than one color sensation.
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