Human-computer interaction by Alan Dix; et al

By Alan Dix; et al

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Cones are the second type of receptor in the eye. They are less sensitive to light than the rods and can therefore tolerate more light. There are three types of cone, each sensitive to a different wavelength of light. This allows color vision. The eye has approximately 6 million cones, mainly concentrated on the fovea, a small area of the retina on which images are fixated. 1 15 The human eye Although the retina is mainly covered with photoreceptors there is one blind spot where the optic nerve enters the eye.

By varying these two, we can perceive in the region of 7 million different colors. However, the number of colors that can be identified by an individual without training is far fewer (in the region of 10). The eye perceives color because the cones are sensitive to light of different wavelengths. There are three different types of cone, each sensitive to a different color (blue, green and red). Color vision is best in the fovea, and worst at the periphery where rods predominate. It should also be noted that only 3–4% of the fovea is occupied by cones which are sensitive to blue light, making blue acuity lower.

However, they are unable to resolve fine detail and are subject to light saturation. This is the reason for the temporary blindness we get when moving from a darkened room into sunlight: the rods have been active and are saturated by the sudden light. The cones do not operate either as they are suppressed by the rods. We are therefore temporarily unable to see at all. There are approximately 120 million rods per eye which are mainly situated towards the edges of the retina. Rods therefore dominate peripheral vision.

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