Thresholds for seeing light from a stimulus are determined by a mechanism that pairs subliminal excitations from both halves of a twin unit. Such excitations stem from a package of k ≥ 1 receptor responses. A half-unit contains one red or one green cone and P rods. The receptor's "Weber machine" controls the receptor's gain. Each half of a twin unit contains a "de Vries machine," which controls the half's k number. In the dark the receptor's dark noise events reset its Weber machine and the receptor's relation to its de Vries machine. A pairing product for light perception also represents a direction event. The local time signs of the two subliminal excitations are crucial for the polarity, size, and pace of the direction event. In relation to the time when and the area in which the stimulus is presented, these signs have average latency periods that depend on intensity and average locations that depend on movement. Polarity depends on which of the two subliminal excitations happens to arrive first at the twin's pairing facility. The intra- and inter-twin pairings in a persepton for the perceptions of light, edge and movement and the probability summation of the pairing products of the mutually independent three sets of twins of the retrinet improve intensity discrimination. Cross-pairings of intra-receptor pairings in red and green cones of a trion for yellow improve visual discrimination further. Discrimination of stimuli that exploit the model's entire summation mechanisms and pairing facilities represents "what the perfect human eye sees best." For the model this threshold of modulation in quantum absorption is the ideal limit that is prescribed by statistical physics. The lateral and meta interaction in a twin unit enhance the contrast of an edge and of a temporal transient. The precision of the local time sign of a half's stimulation determines the spatiotemporal hyperfunctions for location and speed. The model's design for the perfect retinal mosaic consists of red twins situated along clockwise and counterclockwise spirals and green twins along circles that are concentric with the fovea. The model's descriptions of discrimination, adaptation, and hyperfunctions agree with experimental data. © 2002 Optical Society of America.