The spectral sensitivities of rods and cones in macaque and human retinas were determined by recording the membrane current from single outer segments. In the macaque retina, the wavelengths of maximum sensitivity were at about 430, 530, and 561 nm for the blue, green, and red cones, respectively, and at 491 nm for the rods. The shapes of the spectra of the three cones were similar when plotted on a log wavenumber scale; the rod spectrum was slightly broader. Spectral sensitivities of the red and green cones from a human retina were virtually identical to those of macaque cones. For comparison with human psychophysical measurements, the rod and cone spectra were adjusted to give the sensitivities expected for light incident on the cornea of the human eye. These functions satisfactorily predicted the scotopic and photopic luminosity functions as well as results from human color-matching experiments. The adjusted spectra of the red and green cones also agreed well with the π-mechanisms of Stiles (1953, 1959). © 1988, Cambridge University Press. All rights reserved.