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Humans have trichromatic vision. Our eyes detect colors in the visible range of the spectrum using three different cone cell types, each maximally stimulated by a different wavelength of light. Some humans are colorblind, meaning that their eyes detect colors in a more limited region of the spectrum using only one or two different types of cone cell.

Color vision capabilities in the world’s two major groups of monkey species are patterned in the same way. Generally, monkey species from Africa, Europe and Asia (the old world monkeys) have trichromatic vision, whereas monkey found in South and Central America (the new world monkeys) have dichromatic vision.

This case will examine the evolution of trichromatic vision in old world monkeys.


Atteh Akoto

University of Pittsburgh