The relationship between visual resolution and cone spacing in the human fovea

Nat Neurosci. 2010 Feb;13(2):156-7. doi: 10.1038/nn.2465. Epub 2009 Dec 20.


Visual resolution decreases rapidly outside of the foveal center. The anatomical and physiological basis for this reduction is unclear. We used simultaneous adaptive optics imaging and psychophysical testing to measure cone spacing and resolution across the fovea, and found that resolution was limited by cone spacing only at the foveal center. Immediately outside of the center, resolution was worse than cone spacing predicted and better matched the sampling limit of midget retinal ganglion cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Fovea Centralis / anatomy & histology*
  • Fovea Centralis / cytology
  • Fovea Centralis / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Optics and Photonics / methods
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychophysics
  • Retina / anatomy & histology
  • Retina / cytology
  • Retina / physiology
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / cytology*
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology*
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / cytology
  • Retinal Ganglion Cells / physiology
  • Video Recording
  • Vision Tests
  • Vision, Ocular / physiology*