The Average Person Can See 1M Colours. She Can See 100 Million!

May 19th, 2015

san-diego-artist-concetta-antico

Most people have 3 cone receptors in their eyes to see over 1 million colours.  However a woman with 4 cones can see over 100 million!   According to a Popular Science article, a unique genetic mutation has allowed one woman to see 100 times more colour than the average human being.

Meet Concetta Antico, a woman confirmed to have tetrachromacy, a condition where their eyes biologically is able to detect more colour than the average person with only 3 cone receptors.  Since the gene responsible for color vision is on the X chromasome, it is more likely that females to become a tetrachromat than males (females have 2 X chromasomes, where males only have 1 X chromasome in their DNA).

While her eyes are exceptional, Concetta’s brain is wired just like everyone else.  With so many receptors transmitting information back to her brain, it takes time for tetrachromats to train the brain to interpret the image they are seeing.

When asked to describe what she sees, she says “…you might see dark green, but I’ll see violet, turquoise and blue.  It’s like a mosaic of color.”  Naturally, Concetta is attracted to visual arts, below is a sample of her work, called “Rainbow Gully”, it’s an artistic reflection of how she sees the world with her special vision.

rainbow-gully

For more information, read the whole article here.