Monocular colorblindness

Keith Robison robison1 at
Tue Jun 28 07:50:55 EST 1994

burglin at Frodo.MGH.Harvard.EDU (Thomas Burglin) writes:

>>An interesting question.  
>>I noticed recently that my eyes discriminate colours slightly differently.
>>One appears "normal" and the other appears to have a magenta hue relative
>>to the other.  Very strange.  Freaked me out when I noticed.  I don't
>>think it's color blindness though.

>Perhaps one to follow up,
>my eyes are also slightly different, one a little bluish,
>the other a little redish  (all relative, since one doesn't 
>really know what is normal...).
>I think that many people may have that, but just never notice.
>I see the phenomenon best under artifical light, such
>as a single 60W light bulb, that delivers lots of redish light.

I have found this effect most pronounced when lying on my side.  A
friend suggested that it is due to the blood pressure differential
induced from one eye being lower than the other, with the upper
eye seeing "bluish" and the lower eye "reddish" (remember, the
human retina is backwards with the light sensors underneath
other tissue).  It sounds plausible, but I haven't checked it
out rigorously (Hmmm.  Good excuse for lying down on the job.
"But I was doing a physiology experiment!")

Keith Robison
Harvard University
Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology
Department of Genetics / HHMI

krobison at 

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