Are rods more sensitive to low light?
Rod cells are able to work in low light intensity because the cell can respond to a single photon of light (more sensitive).
There are two types of photoreceptors involved in sight: rods and cones. Rods work at very low levels of light. We use these for night vision because only a few bits of light (photons) can activate a rod.
One reason rods are more sensitive is that early events in the transduction cascade have greater gain and close channels more rapidly, as alluded to previously.
Rods can act as light detectors even in extremely low levels of illumination but are ineffective—they are known to "saturate"—in bright light. Remarkably, rods can respond reliably to a single visible light photon, so they operate at the physical limit of light detection.
These specialized cells are called photoreceptors. Which are: rods and cones. Cones are more sensitive to bright light. Rods are most sensitive to dim light.
Cones function well in bright light, but high levels of intrinsic noise make them unreliable in dimmer light. In contrast, rods have low levels of noise and function well in dim light.
Each cone responds best to a specific color of light, whereas the rods respond best to white light 2.
When the rod cells are kept in darkness, the opsin is uncoupled from the cell surface membrane of the rod cells and the trans-retinal is converted back to cis-retinal. These 2 components join to reform rhodopsin, resulting in a process known as dark adaptation.
Nocturnal animals have more rod cells in their eyes as compared to humans and other animals active during the day. These rod cells serve as light receptors and help them see in dim light.
Rod cells are stimulated by light over a wide range of intensities and are responsible for perceiving the size, shape, and brightness of visual images. They do not perceive colour and fine detail, tasks performed by the other major type of light-sensitive cell, the cone.
Can rods function in dim light?
Vertebrate eyes function reliably over twelve orders of magnitude in light intensity by employing two types of photoreceptors. Cones function well in bright light, but high levels of intrinsic noise make them unreliable in dimmer light. In contrast, rods have low levels of noise and function well in dim light.
The rods are photoreceptors that contain the visual pigment - rhodopsin and are sensitive to blue-green light with a peak sensitivity around 500 nm wavelength.
Exposure of the retina to light hyperpolarizes the rods and cones and removes their inhibition of bipolar cells. The now active bipolar cells in turn stimulate the ganglion cells, which send action potentials along their axons (which leave the eye as the optic nerve).