Normal trichromats have three types of cone photoreceptors: L, M, and S cones (most sensitive to long, medium, or short wavelengths, respectively). Therefore, standard colorimetry is based on three variables (X, Y, Z). Dichromats only have two types of functional cones due to genetic factors. The main consequences are that dichromats (1) confuse colors that can only be discriminated by the response of the type of cone they lack and (2) make errors when naming colors. Chromaticity diagrams can be used to specify dichromats’ color confusions. Confusion points represent imaginary stimuli that only activate L, M, or S cones. Confusion lines radiate from confusion points and represent pseudoisochromatic stimuli (i.e., colors confused by the corresponding type of dichromat if presented at an appropriate intensity). Dichromat’s color appearance models have been developed to simulate the colors supposedly seen by dichromats, and there exist color simulation tools that implement some of those models.
Part of the book: Colorimetry and Image Processing