Distribution of cones in human and monkey retina: individual variability and radial asymmetry

Science. 1987 May 1;236(4801):579-82. doi: 10.1126/science.3576186.


The distribution of photoreceptors is known for only one complete human retina and for the cardinal meridians only in the macaque monkey retina. Cones can be mapped in computer-reconstructed whole mounts of human and monkey retina. A 2.9-fold range in maximum cone density in the foveas of young adult human eyes may contribute to individual differences in acuity. Cone distribution is radially asymmetrical about the fovea in both species, as previously described for the distribution of retinal ganglion cells and for lines of visual isosensitivity. Cone density was greater in the nasal than in the temporal peripheral retina, and this nasotemporal asymmetry was more pronounced in monkey than in human retina.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Computers
  • Fovea Centralis / anatomy & histology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Humans
  • Macaca nemestrina
  • Photoreceptor Cells / analysis
  • Photoreceptor Cells / anatomy & histology*
  • Retina / anatomy & histology*