The human visual system has an amazing sensitivity-even a single photon catch can trigger the release of a signal in a rod photoreceptor cell under certain circumstances. However, behaviorally it requires on an average 5-8 photons for a human to "see" a flash of light. This discrepancy is due to the intrinsic "dark noise" in the visual system. Various aspects of human visual sensitivity to single photons are reviewed and discussed.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.