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Visual Ecology$
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Thomas W. Cronin, Sönke Johnsen, N. Justin Marshall, and Eric J. Warrant

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691151847

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691151847.001.0001

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Color Vision

Color Vision

Chapter:
(p.146) 7 Color Vision
Source:
Visual Ecology
Author(s):

Thomas W. Cronin

Sönke Johnsen

N. Justin Marshall

Eric J. Warrant

Publisher:
Princeton University Press
DOI:10.23943/princeton/9780691151847.003.0007

This chapter addresses why animals have evolved different numbers, ranges, and placements of spectral channels in their color-vision systems. It also examines the factors, such as water transmission, visual task, phylogeny, and activity patterns, that drive the evolution of such diverse modes of seeing color. Even in the absence of any color sense, trees are still visible, as most of the information in natural scenes can be gained from achromatic cues alone. Color vision, however, gives an animal more information, allowing it to make quicker and more informed decisions. The chapter attempts to disentangle man's experience of color from that of other animals to provide an objective measure of what color vision is and how evolution has molded its variety of forms.

Keywords:   color vision, visual task, phylogeny, color sense, achromatic cues, water transmission, activity patterns

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