(b) If you look directly at an object, light from the object will fall in a
small depression of the retina called the fovea centralis. The fovea centralis is at the
posterior end of the eyeball, exactly opposite the centers of the cornea, pupil, and lens.
The fovea centralis is found in a small yellow area of the retina called the macula lutea.
The macula lutea is the area of the retina where vision is sharpest.
FOVEA = small depression
CENTRALIS = center
MACULA = spot
LUTEA = yellow
(c) Associated with the rods and cones are the beginnings of neurons of
the optic nerve. These neurons pass out of the eyeball at the posterior end (in a point
medial and superior to the fovea centralis). At the point of exit, there are no rods or
cones. Therefore, it is called the blind spot (optic disc).
(2) Ciliary body. The anterior end of the choroid layer thickens to form a
circular "picture frame" around the lens of the eyeball. This is also near the margin of
the base of the cornea. The framelike structure is called the ciliary body. It includes
mostly radial muscle fibers, which form the ciliary muscle.
(3) Ligaments. The lens is suspended in place by ligaments (fibers of the
ciliary zonule). These ligaments connect the margin (equator) of the lens with the ciliary
(4) Lens. The lens is located in the center of the anterior of the eyeball, just
behind the cornea.
(a) The lens is biconvex. This means that it has two outwardly curved
surfaces. The anterior surface is flatter (less curved) than the posterior surface.
(b) The lens is transparent and elastic. (As one grows older, the lens
becomes less and less elastic.) The ligaments maintain a tension upon the lens. This
tension keeps the lens flatter and allows the lens to focus on distant objects. When the
ciliary muscle contracts, the tension on the lens is decreased. The decreased tension
allows the lens to thicken. The greater thickness increases the anterior curvature and
allows close objects to be seen clearly.
(c) The process of focusing the lens for viewing close objects clearly is
called accommodation. The process of accommodation is accompanied by a reduction
in the pupil size as well as a convergence of the two central lines of sight (axes of