Course: Science Subtest I
Lesson: Optics and Waves
Topic: How We See      Page 20 of 27  

Rods and cones

Different types of retinal cells are sensitive to different wavelengths, or colors. The two kinds of retinal cells are called rods and cones.

The rods are

The cones — some 6 or 7 million of them — are concentrated in a small yellowish spot on the retina called the macula. They are responsible for color vision and sharp vision.

The cones come in three types:


The sensitivity of the three types of retinal cone cells to different wavelengths. Credit: © C. R. Nave, 2006