Anatomy & Physiology Nervous #14


Which structure is responsible for the eye’s ability to detect color with the sense of sight?


  1. Iris
    • Rationale:

      The iris is a ring-shaped, thin structure in the eye that is responsible for controlling the diameter and size of the pupil thereby the amount of light reaching the retina. Eye color, not the ability to detect color, is defined by the iris.

  2. Rods
    • Rationale:

      The rods are specialized light-sensitive cells (i.e., photoreceptors) in the retina of the eye that provide peripheral vision and the ability to see objects in dim light (e.g., night vision). They do not play a role in the ability to detect color.

  3. Pupil
    • Rationale:

      The pupil is the opening of the eye and is responsible for the amount of light that enters the eye. It does not play a role in detecting colors.

  4. Cones
    • Rationale:

      The cones are one of two photoreceptors cells in the eyes. The cones respond to high-intensity illumination in addition to being sensitive to color.


The sense of sight is one of the five special senses within the body.


Learning Outcomes

Photoreceptors located within the eyes are responsible for the eyes’ response to light. There are two photoreceptors, the cones and the rods. The cones are responsible for detecting color.

Test Taking Tip

Consider the function of the photoreceptors of the eyes to answer this question correctly.

Video Rationale