100 thoughts on “How this molecule makes vision possible

  1. Something I have only recently learned about myself, is that I probably am affected by "visual snow". I thought it was everyone's experience, to at all times see a continuous field of tiny red, green, and blue dots, until I said something to my wife about it, and she hadn't the slightest idea of what I was talking about. The little colorful dots are almost overwhelming in the dark; I don't really see "black" at night, just red, green, and blue. In the day, I see quite normally, though if I sort of stop focusing on what I'm looking at, I can tell that it's really just the RGB dots.

  2. Very nice description!
    "I'm always fascinated by how complicated biochemistry is" Yes, most things are more complex than originally perceived…

  3. 10:38 I'm not sure I understand how the output of the Long or Red cones, which generate almost no signal in the violet frequencies, but somehow post processing amplifies that signal, but only in the violet. What tells the post processing that it is receiving the violet frequencies and to pump up the volume, but don't pump it up when it's receiving blue?

  4. The wonder of this deserves two, three,…videos if it needs. I saw this video several times and anywise i didnt get the most of it…Being younger i studied colors theory as first chapter for color tv theory, then Feinman lectures shows the back of an eye conections…then you: thats all for people like me which is not a phisician. I hope you consider a longer video being more compasive with people less intelligent like me.
    By the way, would you explain the way we distinguish differents intensitys of light when neurons works with principles yes-no or "all or nothing law"?
    Thanks again for taking us (or try at least) to this century level!!!

  5. Your illustrative visualisations in this video filled me with a ridiculous amount of joy, while still learning so much. Thank you #DayMade

  6. Great video. It is amazing the parallels between how those systems work and things that we have designed like electronics and batteries. I guess it stands to reason as many of the chemical/electrical processes are the same.

    It also kind of illustrates that it would be very easy for each human to perceive the same color slightly differently. While the wavelength of the light is pretty immutable, the quantities of different light-sensing cells and their effectiveness in each person could allow for a pretty wide variation in color sensitivity.

    Great video about something I've often wondered about, cheers!

    Also, when you have to make a video on the molecular basis for vision and 4, but star in "Grease" at 5:30 🙂

  7. The long chains of molecular steps in biochemistry don't persist because evolution requires steps. The "evolutionary" process is overhauled all the time. Ie Bob changes but Tim does not, but Bobs adaptation is a little more costly than it is valuable, eventually Bob's lineage diminishes via natural selection. And if there is a way to keep Bobs adaptation without the extra steps, that pathway will eventually occur and be selected for. There reason that there are these long chains is because each step has multiple branches that lead to alternative signaling, or steps that lead to noise reduction in the signal, or multiple steps are actually more energy efficient than a single step. 90-95% of the time when we see "Junk" in nature it just means we are really just ignorant of it use.

  8. Why can we only perceive the three basic frequencies of light if the proteins can change the molecule to react to any light?

  9. Hi Steve!
    You are doing awesome videos, that seems you have put alot of hard serious work behind before presenting it.

    Can you and maybe with some of your youtuber friends, dig really deep into this topic and do a real openminded investigation.
    Truth, fiction or somwhere beetween?
    Topic: Earthing – Grounding

  10. Sometimes your videos go beyond my capacity for absorption capacity/comprehension, but I stay til the end because you are such an excellent presenter!

  11. Great job explaining this topic! Always surprises me how much red there is in what we consider peak blueness (~460nm), and how little there is where we start to perceive purple. If you ever do a followup, it would be cool to talk about that recycle time and how it relates to dark adjustment delay and why it's unpleasant to exit a theater in the daytime. Something I've never learned about is why color processing happens up front in the eye, but the first visual cortex is only concerned with edges and differences, yet the color information is preserved and properly processed way down in the fourth cortex! I remember something about the eye actually only transmitting spatial color differences, so maybe that's how long it takes to integrate the differences into a persistent color picture where we can talk about solid color fills and gradients and all that.

    Sooo, yeah, definitely do a follow-up!

  12. a-ma-zing video , absolutely loved it! so clearly explained, not too slow, not too fast, not too simplified, included everything i wanted to know, thank you!

  13. Amazing video! I do have a question though. How is magnitude represented? If each cone is on/off, and all cones of one type are sensitive to one part of the spectrum, wouldn’t they all fire at the same time when exposed to a wavelength in that region? Does the sensitivity of each cone vary a bit, and then the total number of cones activated indicates how bright the light is? Or, is it not actually on/off but more of a continuous representation of activation? Or, is it neither of these?

  14. Greetings from a colourblind viewer! As such I’ve always taken great interest in how the eye works. Thanks for so simply expressing the molecular mechanics.

    I am an anomalous trichromat. Meaning I have all three types of cone cells, however the “peak frequency” you mentioned for my individual cells is different. Specifically for me my medium (green) cone cell. The technical term being Deuteranomaly.

    You really wouldn’t believe how heavily your brain relies on those “post processing effects” to determine colours.

  15. Hey Steve, surface scientist at QUT here, you molecules with double bonds don't actually bend and flex like that the Pi-Pi bonds (the second covalent bond) actually locks its orientation.

  16. I just saw the Hoover institute saying evolution is mathematically impossible, rather intelligent design is much much more likely. Can you investigate?

  17. This explanation made so much sense! Thanks! Just arrived from Smarter Every Day. You've definitely earned my subscription.

  18. Hey Steve Great Video! We learned all of this in Medical school and the crazy thing is that in the retina not only the detection of light but also the processing of this information happen. You have different Horizontal cells which become activated by the photoreceptor cells and inhibit surrounding photoreceptor cells to create contrast. That is for example why dark areas seem on the edge to white areas much darker than being surrounded by dark areas. Fun fact: Most of the Proteins you have mentioned are reused by the body in different locations. cGMP in the nose and tongue for senses. Transducin which belongs to the family of G-Proteins are used in the Sympathicus(fight and flight) to increase your heart rate, constrict your Arteries,…

  19. *doomsday visions from highschool chemistry emerge*..

    Well. He looks nothing like my chem teacher phew

    Also he explains things quite well.

  20. If you want to imagine what got looks like. Turn on color inversion on your device, and then watch steve mould talk about anything.

  21. Question for you Mould man, why, does a saucepan of boiling water steam MORE when you turn the heat off? It's bugged me for years.

  22. 12:04 this is actually incorrect. Its a misconception that evolution is some steady gradual thing. Actually, pretty big evolutionary changes usually happen to a large portion of a population in a very short time

  23. And we are told all of this amazing molecular complexity and order came from "random" events? (Obviously not through "concious" trial and error).

  24. I'm sure you are well aware of this, but at 3:14 you could have clarified better that the energy and frequency of a foton are very closely related and thus are indicators of basically the same properties. Actually, the energy of a foton is completely determined only by its frequency (or wavelenght):
    Energy = (Plank's Constant) * Frequency.

  25. You comment on how it is fascinating that there are often so many steps in going from one biochemical state to another. Like in reverting the retinal back to its' unbleached state (11:36). The steps to "re-sensitize" a rhodopsin molecule take a tremendous amount of time (like 30 minutes!). I have trouble imaging how/why it can possibly take that long! But, then, the fact that it does take that long may be evolutionarily intentional; the experience of going from a dim environment to a bright environment can include momentary blindness (or close to it), so having a large percentage of your rhodopsin not able to respond may be a good thing in a bright environment.

  26. Every time at the end Nature gets the credit, as if the Nature itself is the Creator. I don't understand why keep God out of equation each time? Oh, we have evolution theory! Maybe God chose that way of creating and some come and say oh it's not God, it's natural processes no need to believe in God! Well, these complex chemical stuff all over the earth itself prove some sort of "intelligent designer". Look at what Richard Dawkins got to say https://youtu.be/hQdVrpdJxf0

  27. WOW !!! Mind blowing I never thought it was that complexe ! Still weird to think that this causes us to see at all it seems so abstract !!!

  28. Is the blue light that wakes you up straight up blue? I’m assuming it isn’t, but I’m asking as it would be interesting to set my lightbulbs to what ever the appropriate RGB value (if possible) in the morning to wake up.

  29. I wonder if the dinosaurs could even see colors, and if they could, if they would see an entirely different spectrum..

  30. Copy and past from other video.
    3:59 ~ that was really the best video ever. #WellDone! ~ a #newmystery, to apply to an #oldmystery, the intrigue humans who see different, looking at #opticalillusions of the #colourblue, in and among human species, these colours or shades of #Blu confuse or comfort, or more easily value differences. = its not a gradient, even if it is. this blue is not that blue. #SteveMould says all colours are a single molecule in the eye that gymnastically bends differently.

    #WeAreOneColor and We are a #Molecule, and definitely not a #Mineral pieced together with #Silicone or #Metalloids to bend like a prism, producing a different refraction pulse on the nerve.


  31. Could there be a way to the alter the proteins so that they are most sensitive to light outside of the visible spectrum, like UV or infrared? That'd definitely be something interesting to consider

  32. How about a video about the 4th colour cone? The one that is really a genetic mistake that only women can have that gives that lucky sod (IMHO) an extra colour let’s say or to see a much clearer distinction between two colour that to most of us, looks like just one colour. So bio chemistry and genetics all in one! 👍✌️

  33. It's scary how many similarities the universe has with the way computers compute things, the not gate cells work in a very similar way as the logic gates do on cpus, and then how quantum mechanics explain things in "simulation theory" and etc, such as the superposition property and the way we manage memory in software (pointers and how they only store the address of data which then allows the software to put the data in memory using pointers whenever there's a need, instead of constantly keeping it in memory, similar to how quantum objects behave differently when observed) … Makes you think… Bit by bit, if you stitch things together from different fields of studies, more and more discoveries lead to credibility to the simulation theory. I ain't a believer myself, but it just makes you think, maybe the idea is not so absurd after all…

  34. This video was really informative and explained really well the biochemistry of eyes. It got me thinking about a few questions, one of which was how would the proteins affect retinal in a red-green colourblind person and how would the (processed) wavelengths look like?

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