(Science: ophthalmology, physiology) One of the two photoreceptor cell types in the vertebrate retina.
In cones the photopigment is in invaginations of the cell membrane of the outer segment. Cones are less sensitive to light than rods, and are differentially sensitive to particular wavelengths of light and therefore important for colour vision.
They provide vision with higher spatial and temporal acuity, and it is the combination of signals from cones with different pigments that facilitates colour vision. There are three types of cones, each type sensitive to red, green or blue. Present in large numbers in the fovea.