aNewDomain.net — About nine percent of men but only one in 200 women have some amount of colorblindness. Sorry guys, the gene that causes colorblindness lives on the X chromosome and we only have one, so we have a higher probability of being affected than women.
Normal humans have trichromatic vision, meaning we have red, green and blue light receptors (cones) in the retinas of our eyes that allow us to perceive a broad spectrum of color. In genetically color-deficient people, some of the cones don’t perceive color which results in a limited visible spectrum.
Monochromacy is the rarest form of color deficiency, affecting one in 33,000 people where only shades of gray are visible.
Image credit: Tim Downs
Dichromacy is more common, seen in about 2.4 percent of people, and is a condition where only two of the three cone types are working correctly. Dichromacy is seen in three forms: protanopia where red is not visible, deuteranopia where green cannot be seen and tritanopia where blue is not perceived.
Affecting 6.4 percent of the human population, the most common form of color deficiency is anomalous trichromacy. The people in this group have all three types of cones working, but one or more of them are slightly out of alignment creating inaccurate color perception. This form of color deficiency can range from nearly normal color perception to almost total absence of color perception.
Have you ever worried you aren’t seeing color the same as other people? Take the following three free online tests to measure your color acuity. The test results may reveal why your wife insists on picking out your clothes.
Are you colorblind? Take the classic Ishihara test.
This color matching game includes a fun set of tests that require a little quickness and a good eye.
This color IQ test will challenge your ability to create a contiguous blend of color.
How did you do? Post your results below to see how you stack up with everyone else.
Image credit: Tim Downs
Based in San Diego, Tim Downs is a technologist, reviewer, commentator, and senior art designer at aNewDomain.net. He’s also the NYT best-selling author and illustrator of the New York Times best-selling How Computers Work and other award-winning and NYT best-selling books. He is a lifelong curiosity monger, a geek, an explainer, a top tier and award-winning graphics artist and, to put it mildly, a pop culture genius. Email him at Tim@aNewDomain.net.