Learning stageStage 2, Stage 3
Learning areaFirst Nations, Science
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Different organisms have different eye structures, and therefore different types of vision. The human eye contains light-sensitive cells called rods and cones at the back of the eye (on the retina). It’s through the cones that colours are detected. If we have red, blue and green cones, and there are even more red cones than blue or green- why does our vision seem more attuned to distinguishing between ‘green’ shades? Watch year 6 student Chase's 2-minute video below to see more!
- Rods and cones are both light-sensitive cells, but rods are primarily for our vision in low-light and don’t distinguish between colours, whereas cones do
- We have three types of cones cells, referred to as red, green and blue cones because of the photopigment they contain, which is sensitive to that wavelength of light on the light spectrum
- Because cones are sensitive to specific wavelengths, instead of red, green and blue cones, we can also call them long, middle and short wavelength-sensitive cones, or L, M and S cones
- Unlike humans, geckos have fantastic colour vision at night which helps them as nocturnal hunters
- The mantis shrimp has up to 16 different photoreceptors!
- What are some reasons humans may have developed the ability to see more shades of green than any other colour?
- The electrical signals from rods and cones are sent along what nerve, to get to the brain?
- The combined action of what two things might also help us see green?
- Which two cone cells (of red, green or blue) overlap the most when looking at a graph of what they detect on the light spectrum?
About the video
The human eye discerns more shades of green than any other colour. In Nurinnurun-Green: The SEEN Colour, Chase combines drone video, claymation and stop-motion graphics to explain how the retina and the colour green (or Nurinnurun, in the local Dharawal language) have impacted human evolution and survival.
Sponsored by the University of Sydney, the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize is a national short film competition that encourages school students to communicate a scientific concept in a way that is accessible and entertaining to the public while painlessly increasing their science knowledge. It is intended to support budding young scientists across the nation, who will be our future leaders in research, discovery and communication. You can learn more about the Sleek Geeks Science Eureka Prize here.