Space Explorers

We have learned from past laboratories that our vision generally relies on two types of photoreceptors to see light: rods and cones. At the Yerkes Winter Institute, we discovered that our eyes detect change are different rates depending on which photoreceptor is primarily in use. In particular, we measured that the cones respond at least 3 times quicker than the rods in noticing a blinking light source. 

We know that there are 3 types of cones (red, green, and blue), but do they all have the same response time? In this laboratory, we investigate this question by using a "Benham disk". This black and white patterned disk, when spun, tricks the brain into seeing patterns of color. Through an analysis of the repeating black and white patterns, using the dynamics of a spinning disk, we seek to answer whether the eye's 3 types of cones respond equally quickly when presented with a changing pattern. In this first part of the lab, we focus on the motion and mathematics behind rigid body motion