Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

The visually evoked potential in humans with amblyopia: Pseudorandom modulation of uniform field and sine-wave gratings

  • 65 Accesses

  • 13 Citations


The visually evoked potential was recorded in response to pseudorandom modulation of a uniform field and sine-wave gratings in humans with naturally occurring amblyopia. Analysis in the frequency domain showed similar temporal tuning when the nonamblyopic and amblyopic eye were stimulated with a uniform field and with spatial stimuli. Although most observers showed some reduction in the cortical response to stimulation of the amblyopic eye with uniform field modulation, all observers showed reductions in the response obtained for stimulation of the amblyopic eye with spatial stimuli. This decrease in the cortical response to stimulation of the amblyopic eye for sine-wave gratings was present at either the low and middle temporal frequencies or over the range of temporal frequencies tested, and was greater than that observed in those amblyopes who also showed reductions with uniform field modulation. Latency measures in the time domain showed increases in the response of the early components when the amblyopic eye was stimulated with a uniform field and with sine-wave gratings above 2 c/deg. These electrophysiological results confirm the results obtained psychophysically which suggest that although amblyopia is primarily a spatial anomaly, the response is influenced by the temporal attributes of the stimulus as well.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Arden GB, Barnard WM, Mushin A (1974) Visually evoked responses in amblyopia. Br J Ophthalmol 58: 183–192

  2. Brettel H, Hiltz R, Rentschier I (1979) The effects of temporal modulation on grating contrast sensitivity in amblyopia. Biomed Tech (Berl) 24: 329–330

  3. Davies WDT (1970) System identification for self-adaptive control. Wiley, London

  4. Dustman RE, Beck EC (1963) Long-term stability of visually evoked potentials in man. Science 142: 1480–1481

  5. Fishman RS, Copenhaver RM (1967) Macular disease and amblyopia. Arch Ophthalmol 77: 718–725

  6. Fricker SJ (1962) Narrow-band filter techniques for the detection and measurement of evoked responses. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 14: 411–413

  7. Fricker SJ, Kuperwaser M (1979) Use of pseudorandomly-timed stimuli and cross-correlation techniques for visual evoked response measurements. In: Computers in Ophthalmology, April 5–6, 1978, IEEE, pp 242–248

  8. Harwerth RS, Levi DM (1978) A sensory mechanism for amblyopia: Psychophysical studies. Am J Optom Physiol Opt 55: 151–162

  9. Hess RF (1980) A preliminary investigation of neural function and dysfunction in amblyopia. I. Size-selective channels. Vision Res 20: 749–754

  10. Hess RF, Bradley A (1980) Contrast perception above threshold is only minimally impaired in human amblyopia. Nature 287: 463–464

  11. Jones R, Keck MJ (1978) Visual evoked response as a function of grating spatial frequency. Invest Ophthalmol 17: 652–659

  12. Lehmkuhle S, Kratz KE, Mangel SC, Sherman SM (1980) Effects of early monocular lid suture on spatial and temporal sensitivity of neurons in dorsal lateral geniculate nucleus of the cat. J Neurophysiol 43: 542–556

  13. Levi DM (1975) Patterned and unpatterned visual evoked responses in strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia. Am J Optom Physiol Opt 52: 455–464

  14. Levi DM, Harwerth RS (1978) A sensory mechanism for amblyopia: Electrophysiological studies. Am J Optom Physiol Opt 55: 163–171

  15. Levi DM, Walters JW (1977) Visual evoked responses in strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia: Effects of check size and retinal locus. Am J Optom Physiol Opt 54: 691–698

  16. Levi DM, Harwerth RS, Manny RE (1979) Suprathreshold spatial frequency detection and binocular interaction in strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 18: 714–725

  17. Levi DM, Harwerth RS, Venverloh J (1980) Spatial and temporal masking in amblyopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci [Suppl] 19: 9

  18. Lombroso CT, Duffy FH, Robb RM (1969) Selective suppression of cerebral evoked potentials to pattern light in amblyopia exanopsia. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 27: 238–247

  19. Loshin DS (1977) Spatio-temporal properties of the amblyopic visual system. Doctoral Dissertation. The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio

  20. Mackensen G (1958) Reaktionszeitmessungen bei Amblyopie. Albrecht Von Graefes Arch Ophthalmol 159: 636–642

  21. Manny RE (1981) Psychophysical and electrophysiological investigations of amblyopia: Uniform field and spatio-temporal interactions. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Houston, Houston, Texas

  22. Manny RE, Levi DM (1981a) Psychophysical investigations of the temporal modulation sensitivity function in amblyopia: Uniform field flicker. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 22: 515–524

  23. Manny RE, Levi DM (1981b) Psychophysical investigations of the temporal modulation sensitivity function in amblyopia: Spatio-temporal interactions. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 22: 525–536

  24. Nawratzki I, Auerbach E, Rowe H (1966) Amblyopia ex-anopsia- the electrical response in retina and occipital cortex following photic stimulation of normal and amblyopic eyes. Am J Ophthalmol 61: 430–435

  25. Noorden GK von (1961) Reaction time in normal and amblyopic eyes. Arch Ophthalmol 66: 695–701

  26. Parker DM, Salzen EA (1977) Latency changes in the human visual evoked response to sinusoidal gratings. Vision Res 17: 1201–1204

  27. Perry NW, Childers DG (1969) The human visual evoked response: Method and theory. Thomas, Springfield, Illinois

  28. Potts AM, Nagaya T (1969) Studies on the visual evoked response: III. Strabismus amblyopia and hysterical amblyopia. Doc Ophthalmol 26: 394–402

  29. Reddy SN, Kirlin RL (1979) Spectral analysis of auditory evoked potentials with pseudorandom noise excitation. IEEE Trans Biomed Eng 26: 479–487

  30. Regan D (1977a) Steady-state evoked potentials. J Opt Soc Am 67: 1475–1488

  31. Regan D (1977b) Speedy assessment of visual acuity in amblyopia by the evoked potential method. Ophthalmologica 175: 159–164

  32. Regan D (1977c) Fourier analysis of evoked potentials; some methods based on Fourier analysis. In: Desmedt JE (ed) Visual evoked potentials in man: New developments. Claredon Press, Oxford, pp 110–117

  33. Regan D (1978) Assessment of visual acuity by evoked potential recording: Ambiguity caused by temporal dependence of spatial frequency selectivity. Vision Res 18: 439–443

  34. Regan D (1981) Evoked potential studies of visual perception. Can J Psychol/Rev Canad Psychol 35: 77–112

  35. Regan D, Beverley KI (1973) Relation between the magnitude of flicker sensation and evoked potential amplitude in man. Perception 2: 61–65

  36. Rentschler I, Hiltz R, Brettel H (1980) Spatial tuning properties in human amblyopia cannot explain the loss of optotype acuity. Behav Brain Res 1: 433–443

  37. Riggs LA (1976) The correlation of electrophysiological and psychophysical measures: VECP. In: Lawwill (ed) Documenta ophthalmologica, proceedings series, vol 13. Junk, The Hague, pp 3–12

  38. Schor CM, Levi DM (1980) Direction selectivity for perceived motion in strabismic and anisometropic amblyopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 19: 1094–1104

  39. Shipley T (1969) The visually evoked occipitogram in strabismic amblyopia under directview ophthalmoscopy. J Pediatr Ophthalmol 6: 97–112

  40. Snyder A, Shapley R (1979) Deficits in the visual evoked potentials of cats as a result of visual deprivation. Exp Brain Res 37: 73–86

  41. Sokol S (1976) Visually evoked potentials: Theory, techniques and clinical applications. Surv Ophthalmol 21: 18–44

  42. Sokol S (1977) Visual evoked potentials to checkerboard pattern stimuli in strabismic amblyopia. In: Desmedt JE (ed) Visual evoked potentials in man: New developments. Clarendon Press, Oxford, pp 410–417

  43. Sokol S, Bloom B (1973) Visually evoked cortical responses of amblyopes to a spatially alternating stimulus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 12: 936–939

  44. Sokol S, Nadler D (1979) Simultaneous electroretinograms and visually evoked potentials from adult amblyopes in response to pattern stimulus. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 18: 848–855

  45. Sokol S, Riggs LA (1971) Electrical and psychophysical responses of the human visual system to periodic variation of luminance. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 10: 171–180

  46. Spekreijse H (1966) Analysis of EEG responses in man evoked by sine wave modulated light. Junk, The Hague

  47. Spekreijse H, Khoe LH, Tweel LH van der (1972) A case of amblyopia; electrophysiology and psychophysics of luminance and contrast. In: Arden GB (ed) The visual system. Plenum Press, New York, pp 141–156

  48. Srebro R, Wright WW (1980) Visually evoked potentials to pseudorandom binary sequence stimulation: Preliminary clinical trials. Arch Ophthalmol 98: 296–298

  49. Srebro R, Sokol B, Wright W (1981) The power spectra of visually evoked potentials to pseudorandom contrast reversals of gratings. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 51: 63–68

  50. Tsutsui J, Nakamura Y, Takenaka J, Fukai S (1973) Abnormality of the visual evoked response in various types of amblyopia. Jpn J Ophthalmol 17: 83–93

  51. Tuttle DR (1973) Electrophysiological studies of functional amblyopia utilizing pattern reversal techniques. Unpublished Thesis, University of Louisville, Louisville, Kentucky

  52. Tweel LH van der (1964) Relation between psychophysics and electrophysiology of flicker. Doc Ophthalmol 18: 287–304

  53. Tyler CW, Apkarian P, Nakayama K (1978) Multiple spatialfrequency tuning of electrical responses from human visual cortex. Exp Brain Res 33: 535–550

  54. Wanger P, Nilsson BY (1978) Visual evoked responses to patternreversal stimulation in patients with amblyopia and/or defective binocular function. Acta Ophthalmol (Copenh) 56: 617–627

  55. Werre PF, Smith CJ (1964) Variability of responses evoked by flashes in man. Electroencephalogr Clin Neurophysiol 17: 644–652

  56. Yinon U, Jakobovitz L, Auerbach E (1974) The visually evoked response to stationary checkerboard patterns in children with strabismic amblyopia. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 13: 293–296

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to R. E. Manny PhD.

Additional information

Supported by grant ROI EYO1728 from the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Manny, R.E., Levi, D.M. The visually evoked potential in humans with amblyopia: Pseudorandom modulation of uniform field and sine-wave gratings. Exp Brain Res 47, 15–27 (1982). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00235881

Download citation

Key words

  • Visually evoked potential
  • Amblyopia
  • Pseudorandom modulation
  • Temporal frequency
  • Spatio-temporal interactions