When an eye is looking directly at an object, light rays from that object are focused on the macula lutea. This is a yellow oval spot at the center of the retina (back of the eye). It is the part of the retina that is responsible for sharp, detailed central vision (also called visual acuity). The macula lutea, also called fovea, contains a very high concentration of cones. These are the light-sensitive cells in the retina that give detailed central vision.
Macula; Fovea; Yellow spot
Stein HA, Stein RM, Freeman MI. Anatomy of the eye. In: Stein HA, Stein RM, Freeman MI, eds. The Ophthalmic Assistant: A Text for Allied and Associated Ophthalmic Personnel. 9th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2013:chap 1.
Yanoff M, Cameron JD. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 423.
Review Date 10/8/2017
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.