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he notion of retinal zones arose from early attempts to map the retina. Clerk Maxwell was one of the first to map the colour zones. At the time some theorists thought the primitive eye responded only to light-waves for achromatic vision (greys only), that next, phylogenetically, blues and yellows could be distinguished and later development lead to the ability to distinguish reds and greens.
The mapping of the zones lent some credence to that theory in that the fovea is most sensitive to reds and greens, the middle zones for blues and yellows, and the periphery for grays, white and black.
For a more modern view see color perception
- Harriman, P.L (1961).Dictionary of psychology. London:Peter Owen & Vision Press