Concetta Antico is an Artist sees 100 times more colours than the average person
When most of us look a buttercup, we simply see yellow.
But one artist sees a whole host of extra colours around the flower’s edge, because she is a tetrachromat and can see 100 times more hues than the average person.
Concetta Antico, who lives in San Diego, California, has more receptors in in her eyes to absorb colourful light, enabling her to see – and paint – the world around her in a different way to most people.
The average person can see approximately one million colours, whereas tetrachromats have an extra cone class in their eyes for colour vision that dramatically increases their range up to a potential 99 million.
Cones are structures in the eye that are designed to absorb particular wavelengths of light and transmit them to the brain.
Most people have three types of cones, but tetrachromats like Ms Antico have four types.
While only a handful of human tetrachromats have been identified, it is thought that around two per cent of women may possess the genes to see extra colours.
The average person has three types of cones, which are tuned to wavelengths of red, green and blue, and tetrachromats’ fourth types can vary.
It’s thought that the condition is caused by mutations in the X chromosome, which make people to see more or less colour, PopSci reported.
These mutations make men more likely to be colour blind and mean that women more likely to be tetrachromats if they have mutations on both X chromosomes.
WHAT IS TETRACHROMACY?
Tetrachromacy is the condition of possessing four independent channels for conveying colour information – which means four different types of cone cells in the eye.
The average person has three types of cone cells.
A tetrachromat’s retina contains four types of higher-intensity light receptors or cone cells with different absorption spectra.
This means they can may see wavelengths beyond those of a typical human being’s eyesight and may be able to distinguish colours that to a human appear to be identical.
Lots of animals are tetrachromats, including birds, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects.
For example, the humble goldfish has cone cells for red, green, blue and ultraviolet light. It is thought that it gives animals an advantage when spotting minute dust particles, food and the movements of prey or predators.