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Kowa Koida, Isao Yokoi, Gouki Okazawa, Akichika Mikami, Kanthi Arum Widayati, Shigehiro Miyachi, Hidehiko Komatsu; Color vision test for dichromatic and trichromatic macaque monkeys. Journal of Vision 2013;13(13):1. doi: 10.1167/13.13.1.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Dichromacy is a color vision defect in which one of the three cone photoreceptors is absent. Individuals with dichromacy are called dichromats (or sometimes “color-blind”), and their color discrimination performance has contributed significantly to our understanding of color vision. Macaque monkeys, which normally have trichromatic color vision that is nearly identical to humans, have been used extensively in neurophysiological studies of color vision. In the present study we employed two tests, a pseudoisochromatic color discrimination test and a monochromatic light detection test, to compare the color vision of genetically identified dichromatic macaques (Macaca fascicularis) with that of normal trichromatic macaques. In the color discrimination test, dichromats could not discriminate colors along the protanopic confusion line, though trichromats could. In the light detection test, the relative thresholds for longer wavelength light were higher in the dichromats than the trichromats, indicating dichromats to be less sensitive to longer wavelength light. Because the dichromatic macaque is very rare, the present study provides valuable new information on the color vision behavior of dichromatic macaques, which may be a useful animal model of human dichromacy. The behavioral tests used in the present study have been previously used to characterize the color behaviors of trichromatic as well as dichromatic new world monkeys. The present results show that comparative studies of color vision employing similar tests may be feasible to examine the difference in color behaviors between trichromatic and dichromatic individuals, although the genetic mechanisms of trichromacy/dichromacy is quite different between new world monkeys and macaques.
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