Scientists have announced an important discovery about how structures in the retina shape color vision.
The study concentrates on the Muller cells, which occupy a narrow space in front of the eyes' photoreceptors.
It has always been a mystery what goes on in that layer, and why the rods and cones are at the back of the vertebrate retina, and not in the front.
The study leader is Dr. Erez Ribak from the Israel Institute of Technology. He has demonstrated that the Muller cells act as light guides, selectively sorting the light as it passes back to the photo-sensitive layer.
The image at left is a 3D scan showing the vertical Muller cells in red standing above the rods-and-cone layer in blue.
|Images courtesy BBC News|
According to the BBC report, the Muller cells "funnel crucial red and green light into cone cells....Meanwhile, they leave 85% of blue light to spill over and reach nearby rod cells, which specialize in those wavelengths and give us the mostly black-and-white vision that gets us by in dim conditions."
Read the full article on BBC: "Shape of eye's 'light pipes' is key to colour sorting"