The preferred retinal locus in macular disease: Toward a consensus definition

Michael D. Crossland, Stephen A. Engel, Gordon E. Legge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


BACKGROUND:: Eccentric viewing in macular disease has been described for half a century. However, a clear definition of eccentric viewing and preferred retinal locus (PRL) does not exist. Here, we determine how the PRL in macular disease is defined by researchers active in this field and, based on the responses received, propose a standardized definition of the preferred retinal locus. METHOD:: A literature review of articles describing the PRL or eccentric viewing was performed. The first and senior authors of all identified publications were contacted and were asked to define the preferred retinal locus. Themes of responses were identified using inductive qualitative research techniques. RESULTS:: Frequently recurring themes related to the definition of the PRL included 1) it is a retinal area used for fixation, 2) it is task specific, 3) more than one PRL can be used, 4) it is a well-defined region of retina, and 5) the same PRL is used on repeated testing. CONCLUSION:: Based on the responses received, a consensus definition of the PRL is proposed. It is suggested that researchers define the PRL carefully in experimental reports and an instrument that images the retina is used to define the location of the PRL.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2109-2114
Number of pages6
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 2011


  • Eccentric viewing
  • Fixation
  • Macular disease
  • Perimetry
  • Preferred retinal locus
  • Scotoma

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