An ordinary person can perceive a million different colors using cells in their eyes called cone cells. In the average person, there are three types of cones, each of which is triggered by different wavelengths of light.
Scientists believe that most people have three types of cones and are said to be “trichromats.” Color blind individuals have only two types of cones and they are said to be “dichromats.” Almost all animals, including dogs and New World monkeys are dichromats.
However, scientists have always believed that there are humans who can see wider range of colors, called “tetrachromats” with the ability to see a hundred million colors. Because most of us are trichromats and cannot perceive the other shades of colors, the other range of colors has not been named yet.
After more than 20 years of research scientists have found a person who is endowed with super color vision, or tetrachromatic vision.
Discover Magazine reports that researcher and scientist Jordan and her team found many people with four types of cones but only one person passed the tests for tetrachromatic vision. The woman, identified as subject cDa29, is a doctor living in northern England. Jordan and her colleagues believe there may be other persons with tetrachromatic vision like her.
Jordan told Discover Magazine that she was very excited by her discovery. It took a 20-year search for her to identify the first true tetrachromat. But a question immediately arose: Why is it that there are people with four cones who apparently do not exhibit tetrachromatic vision?
Jordan said: “We now know tetrachromacy exists. But we don’t know what allows someone to become functionally tetrachromatic, when most four-coned women aren’t.”