The woman basically has SUPERVISION.
While most people on Earth are trichromats—meaning they possess THREE types of cone cells to identify color—this woman has FOUR types of working cone cells which allow here to see 99 Million more colors than ordinary people.
Neurology doctor Gabriele Jordan of the University Of Newcastle, England, has announced the discovery of a woman who has tetrachromatic vision, meaning that she is capable of perceiving 99 million colors more than any other “normal” person on Earth.
Dr. Jordan has started studying the visual abilities of humans more than 20 years ago, and although she has found other people who have four types of cones, this is the first time she has been able to find someone capable of developing a true tetrachromatic vision.
The woman in question, originally from the north of England, has been identified for the study as subject cDa29. Jordan explains that when asked about her particular sensitivity, the woman “was unable to communicate her experience since it is impossible to describe the shades of colors she perceives.”
Most people on Earth poses three types of cone cells in our eyes. Each one of the cone cells have the ability to identify around 100 shades, or when looking at combined factors and possible combinations of the three cone cells combined, it allows us to perceive around 1 million different colors.
Intriguingly, most people who suffer from color blindness only have two functional cone cells, the reason why they are not able to see more than 10,000 shades, which roughly put is almost as all other mammals, like dogs and New World monkeys.
We basically had no idea tetrachromats existed until 1948.
The idea was first proposed when Dutch scientist HL de Vries discovered something peculiar about the eyes of people who suffered from color blindness.
Basically, de Vries demonstrated how color blind men have two normal cone cells in addition to one mutant cone that somehow is less sensitive to either red or green light. De Vries demonstrated how mothers and daughters of color blind men had one mutant cone and three normal cones.
In other words, they had four types of cone cells but only three of them worked properly—something that was unheard of before then.
Even though the discovery was of great importance, no one really cared much about the find until the late 1980’s when a scientist from Cambridge University, John Mollon began searching for women who could have four functioning cone cells.
Doing some Math, and assuming how color blind men passed the alleged fourth cone cell to their daughters, Professor Mollon estimated how around twelve percent of the female population on Earth were tetrachromats.
However, during his tests, he wasn’t able to prove it as women could only perceive the same colors as ordinary people meaning that only three of their four cone cell types worked.
Then, in 2007, neuroscientist Gabriele Jordan took a different approach in the search for tetrachromats.
Dr. Jordan invited 25 women who had a fourth cone cell into a dark room and made them look into a device where three colored circles of light would appear before the 25 women’s eyes.
To ordinary people—trichromats—all three colored circles looked the same, however, only a true tetrachromat could tell them apart.
Incredibly, one test subject— cDa29—managed to differentiate the three different colored circles.