Gerald H. Jacobs is Professor of Biopsychology in the Department of Psychology and a member of the Neuroscience Research Institute at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has studied behavioral and biological aspects of vision in an array of mammals, but is especially interested in primate color vision.
Variations in primate color vision: Mechanisms and utility
Article first published online: 2 JUN 2005
Copyright © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc., A Wiley Company
Evolutionary Anthropology: Issues, News, and Reviews
Volume 3, Issue 6, pages 196–205, 1994
How to Cite
Jacobs, G. H. (1994), Variations in primate color vision: Mechanisms and utility. Evol. Anthropol., 3: 196–205. doi: 10.1002/evan.1360030606
- Issue published online: 2 JUN 2005
- Article first published online: 2 JUN 2005
- opsin genes;
- photo pigments
Among mammals, only the primates have acquired the biological machinery needed for highly acute color vision. That distinction led Gordon Walls, perhaps the foremost authority on comparative vision of this century, to suggest long ago that “the color vision of the higher primates is assuredly a law unto itself, genetically and historically speaking.”1 Primate color vision is indeed unique. One manifestation of this uniqueness is that color vision abilities vary significantly, not only between some groupings of primate species, but, remarkably, among individuals of a considerable number of species. Although the functional significance of these variations remains, in large measure, to be sorted out, the past decade has brought much progress in revealing the mechanisms that underlie variation.