Molecular, cellular, and functional differences between rod and cone photoreceptors

In a collaboration with Professor Ed Pugh at the University of Pennsylvania, we are attempting to explain how the enormous functional differences between rods and cones can be explained by the fairly subtle differences at the molecular and cellular level.  How is it that rods are able to respond reliably to individual photon hits, but saturate at low ambient intensities, whereas cones are somewhat less sensitive, yet are able to continue responding no matter how intense the steady illumination is made?

Updated:  27 June 2017/Responsible Officer:  Director, JCSMR/Page Contact:  Web Manager