The sensitivity of short-wavelength-sensitive (SWS) cone pathways was measured in the central fields of 74 normal subjects, aged 17-86 yr, with healthy maculas. The new fundus perimetry technique used a research scanning laser ophthalmoscope with a small entrance pupil to present blue static perimetry targets on a bright yellow background. Simultaneous infrared imaging aided target positioning and rapid assessment of potential pathology in elderly subjects. Targets were positioned peripheral to fixation, avoiding both the SWS-cone-free area and the peak macular pigment, determined in 11 subjects. Sensitivity declined 0.019 log unit per decade, while intraindividual variability across loci increased. The nasal-temporal asymmetry remained constant. Sensitivity of older subjects was relatively less for the most central targets but was unrelated to transmission through macular pigment. Retinal changes with age occur to differing extents or at differing rates and are readily detectable in the central macula.