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September 6, 1947

Retinal Structure and Colour Vision: A Restatement and an Hypothesis

JAMA. 1947;135(1):66. doi:10.1001/jama.1947.02890010068034

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In this technical but interesting work the author reemphasizes the fact that there is no histologic explanation to satisfy the functional requirements of the trichromatic theory of color vision of Helmholtz and Young. This theory would require three retinal receptor elements, when, as a matter of demonstrable fact, there are only two such elements known, namely the rods and the cones. Willmer reviews the known facts, and then by modifying certain proved data, particularly the photoptic curves of Abney, he builds up a very interesting and plausible theory of color vision which accounts for many of the phenomena of color vision purely on the basis of the rods and cones as receptors. As the author recognizes, there are certain phenomena which cannot be accounted for on the basis of the thesis he has developed, particularly the central perception of blue light. To satisfy these phenomena Willmer postulated the existence of

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