The Verriest Lecture 2009: Recent progress in understanding mammalian color vision


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There have been significant advances in our understanding of mammalian color vision over the past 15 years. This paper reviews a number of topics that have been central to these recent efforts, including: (1) the extent and nature of ultraviolet vision in mammals, (2) the evolutionary loss of short-wavelength-sensitive cones in some mammals, (3) the possible roles of rod signals in mammalian color vision, (4) the evolution of mammalian color vision, and (5) recent laboratory investigations of animal color vision. Successes in linking opsin genes and photopigments to color vision have been key to the progress made on each of these issues.