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Macula lutea

Macula

Definition

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.

Alternative Names

Macula; Fovea; Yellow spot

References

Cioffi GA, Liebmann JM. Diseases of the visual system. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 395.

Schubert HD. Structure of the neural retina. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2019:chap 6.1.

Venes, Donald, ed..Macula.Taber's Medical Dictionary, 23rd ed., F.A. Davis Company, 2017. Taber's Online. www.tabers.com/tabersonline/view/Tabers-Dictionary/732839/all/macula.


Review Date: 9/16/2019
Reviewed 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.
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