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Jason D. Forte, Esther M. Blessing, Peter Buzás, Paul R. Martin; Contribution of chromatic aberrations to color signals in the primate visual system. Journal of Vision 2006;6(2):1. doi: 10.1167/6.2.1.
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We measured responses to red–green color variation in parvocellular (PC) neurons in the lateral geniculate nucleus of dichromatic (“red–green color blind”) marmoset monkeys. Although these animals lack distinct visual pigments to distinguish between wavelengths in this range, many of the colored stimuli nevertheless produced robust responses in PC cells. We show that these responses, which are restricted to high stimulus spatial frequencies (fine image details), arise from chromatic aberrations in the eye. The neural signals produced by chromatic aberrations are of comparable magnitude to signals produced by high-frequency luminance (LUM) modulation and thus could influence cortical pathways for processing of color and object recognition. The fact that genetically “color-blind” primates are not necessarily blind to wavelength-dependent contours in the visual world may have enabled red–green color vision to become linked with high-acuity spatial vision during primate evolution.
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