Fiber optics in mammals’ eyes separate colors

Müller cells shunt red and green light to cones and let blue light leak onto rods

12:48pm, July 10, 2014

Special cells in the retina split light into different colors to enable sharp vision during the day without harming night vision.

Those long and tubelike cells, called Müller cells, snake through the layers of the retina. Müller cells have long been known as support cells for light-gathering cone cells, which they pair with in the retina. Cones absorb red and green light and enable crisp daytime color vision. The retina also contains rod cells that absorb blue light for fuzzier monochromatic night vision.

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