[Cyborg] Chinese boy has night vision

Tomm tomm.fire at gmail.com
Tue Jan 31 18:48:14 PST 2012

It's pretty well known that typical monochromats have good night 
vision.  Unlike standard colorblindness, which is fairly prevalent, I've 
heard it's a 1 in a million mutation for typical monochromats, who have 
all rods and no cones.

Once upon a time, on a moonless night, on a dry lakebed in California, I 
was hanging out with a friend that's a typical monochromat.  And we 
tested him on it: he really could see perfectly well when it was 
apparently pitch black, though it truly wasn't (this was outside of LA, 
where there was still a bit of human-reflected light.  When he was 
growing up, his mom first learned of his talent because he never 
bothered to turn the lights on when he was playing with his toys.  I've 
heard (also anecdotally) that before night vision goggles were 
developed, American monochromats were used in Vietnam to spot opposing 
troops hiding in trees.

Interestingly, red contacts really help monochromats to help them adjust 
to bright sunlight.  "These contact lenses have a small red circle that 
when properly positioned looks like the pupil of the eye. On the eye 
they appear as dark circles looking just like the normal pupil of the 
eye. These red contact lenses not only reduce the light entering each 
eye, but allow primarily red light to enter the eye. Red light allows 
the remaining rods to function better, and in complete achromatopsia, 
where the patient sees no color, the patient is not aware of the red 
hue. In the incomplete form of achromatopsia, patients report it 
enhances their ability to detect red stoplights and red brake lights."


I welcome our blue-eyed, red-pupiled overlords!


On 1/30/12 8:21 PM, Eric Boyd wrote:
> http://www.sentientdevelopments.com/2012/01/chinese-boy-has-night-vision-eyes-that.html
> Presumably the mutation is some kind of straight forward trade-off
> between better vision during maximum vs. minimum brightness conditions.
> With sunglasses, we don't necessarily need the maximum brightness version.
> Therefore, I conclude that blue-eyed Chinese boys will soon rule the
> world :-)
> Eric
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