Date of this Version
It is sometimes said that 'our eyes can see single photons'. This article begins by finding a more precise version of that claim and reviewing evidence gathered for it up to around 1985 in two distinct realms, those of human psychophysics and single-cell physiology. Finding a single framework that accommodates both kinds of result is then a nontrivial challenge, and one that sets severe quantitative constraints on any model of dim-light visual processing. This article presents one such model and compares it to a recent experiment.
Nelson, P. C. (2016). Old and New Results About Single-Photon Sensitivity in Human Vision. Physical Biology, 13 (2), http://dx.doi.org/10.1088/1478-3975/13/2/025001
Date Posted: 15 March 2017
This document has been peer reviewed.