Spatial visual function in anomalous trichromats: Is less more?

Ravid Doron, Anna Sterkin, Moshe Fried, Oren Yehezkel, Maria Lev, Michael Belkin, Mordechai Rosner, Arieh S. Solomon, Yossi Mandel*, Uri Polat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Color deficiency is a common inherited disorder affecting 8% of Caucasian males with anomalous trichromacy (AT); it is the most common type of inherited color vision deficiency. Anomalous trichromacy is caused by alteration of one of the three cone-opsins’ spectral sensitivity; it is usually considered to impose marked limitations for daily life as well as for choice of occupation. Nevertheless, we show here that anomalous trichromat subjects have superior basic visual functions such as visual acuity (VA), contrast sensitivity (CS), and stereo acuity, compared with participants with normal color vision. Both contrast sensitivity and stereo acuity performance were correlated with the severity of color deficiency. We further show that subjects with anomalous trichromacy exhibit a better ability to detect objects camouflaged in natural gray scale figures. The advantages of color-deficient subjects in spatial vision performance could explain the relatively high prevalence of color-vision polymorphism in humans.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0209662
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2019


FundersFunder number
Israel Science Foundation188/10


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