[Cyborg] Chinese boy has night vision
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:
> 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 :-)
> Cyborg mailing list
> Cyborg at lists.noisebridge.net
More information about the Cyborg