Cerebral achromatopsia

Based on the knowledge gained from cerebral achromatopsia case studies, current research is focusing on learning more about the cortical area involved in color processing.

The disorder is often presented as evidence of our incomplete knowledge of color processing. Color vision research is a well-studied field of modern neuroscience and the underlying anatomical processing in the retina have been well categorized. The presence of another factor in the perception of color by humans illustrates the need for more research.

Mr. I. could hardly bear the changed appearances of people ("like animated gray statues") any more than he could bear his own changed appearance in the mirror: he shunned social intercourse and found sexual intercourse impossible. He saw people's flesh, his wife's flesh, his own flesh, as an abhorrent gray; "flesh-colored" now appeared "rat-colored" to him. This was so even when he closed his eyes, for his preternaturally vivid ("eidetic") visual imagery was preserved but now without color, and forced on him images, forced him to "see" but see internally with the wrongness of his achromatopsia. He found foods disgusting in their grayish, dead appearance and had to close his eyes to eat. But this did not help very much, for the mental image of a tomato was as black as its appearance.