Women:More rods less cones than men =Better peripheral and night vision. Significant?

I read an article which says that women’s eyes have more rods and less cones than men. This means that women have better vision in darkness and better peripheral vision (they see more ‘at a glance’ than men) but men have better/sharper vision at the center of focus and better depth-perception.

The articule didn’t mention if this difference is subtle or significant. I’ve been wondering what it must be like to see like a woman.

Joke answers welcome, but I’d like some serious ones too.

I didn’t know what the scientific explanation was, but I noticed a very distinctive difference in night vision whilst haunting the wee hours and/or laser gaming with my male friends.

Myself and the one other girl we hang around with, could distinguish and recognize shapes and notice movement much faster and from a further distance than the guys. We also adjusted to the darkness faster.

Which isn’t to say we win very often :wink:

Well, that sort of takes the fun out of it. I couldn’t think of any good ones anyway.

I would have thought it would be the opposite, because if you think back to the time of the cavemen, men were the ones hunting (weren’t they?). Plus, it would explain why women are more likely to notice subtle differences in colors and make up rules about matching and clashing.

So this is quite counter-intuitive.

Nope, not counter-intuitive - the men having sharper central-vision focus and depth perception would be very useful for daytime hunters, which is what humans were for most of their history.

Assuming women are in gathering/scaveging and childcare mode, some sacrifice of visual sharpness and depth for better peripheral and at-a-glance vision would likewise be useful, allowing them to better spot resources in the environment AND keep the children in sight at the same time.

Better night vision for women might be an accidental consequence or related to the need to get up in the middle of the night to take care of the baby(s).

Just WAGs on my part - nothing to back it up, it’s just a possible explanation that may or may not be the truth.

Is it possible that this is a side-effect of something else? For instance, there’s a pretty strong inverse relationship between color vision and sense of smell (better color vision = poorer sense of smell and vice versa) in animals. And I believe women are supposed to have a better sense of smell than men. So perhaps women selected for a better sense of smell, and as a result, lost some cones.

Cripes. I wish my wife had as good night vision as I do. There have been many a late night stroll in a park somewhere which has been cut short because she can’t see her hand in front of her face, while I can see very well.

Note, I’m not disputing your factual claim that women have better night vision. I think we are both at opposite ends of our respective spectrums, my night vision and peripheral vision is very good. Her vision in general is quite bad.

Just as one woman, I would hate to think that most men have worse night vision than I do. They must be virtually blind. Of course being older than dirt may have something to do with it.


Try Google :o

Protocol dictates that the OP include a cite when making such claims. The burden of proof is on him.

If you must know… The article was in PC Gamer Aug 2005 DVD edition. Page 124. The sciency part quoted from Dr Leonard Schlain, Chairman of Laparoscopic surgery at California Pacific Medical Center.

The main article is titled “Why Won’t Women Play?”

Go read it.