References to color blindness

Dr. M.F. Tritsch tritsch at MZDMZA.ZDV.UNI-MAINZ.DE
Wed Dec 6 22:14:19 UTC 1995

Thank you to all who corrected me on supposed color blindness. 
The confusion of white with yellow is indeed a case of xanthopsia. 
This symptom is sometimes found in  jaundice, icterus, hepatitis and 
malaria and also as a result of digitalis overuse. It is referred to in 
medical texts, but there is practically no current literature on it 
(with the exception of a number of articles suggesting that Vincent 
van Gogh's paintings often had a yellow veil because he suffered from 
xanthopsia from using digitalis).

Interesting that Buddhist students of philosophy used it as an 
example of faulty perception. It really is like a colored filter 
before the eye, resulting presumably from diffusion of the pigment 
(bilirubin from break down of blood cells or gall bladder 
malfunction) into the aqueous humor of the eyeball. The externally 
visible yellow coloration of the whites of the eyes has no effect on 
perception at all. 

Once again, thanks for the help.

Mark Tritsch

DR. MARK F. TRITSCH      (Tel/Fax: +49 611 691497)

Institut fuer Zoologie III
Johannes Gutenberg Universitaet
55099 Mainz

Schnappschuss internationale Forschungsnachrichten
Breslauer Strasse 14 b
65203 Wiesbaden


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