Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 133, Issue 2, pp 91–98 | Cite as

Comparison of photopic negative response measurements in the time and time–frequency domains

  • Hansa Kundra
  • Jason C. Park
  • J. Jason McAnany
Original Research Article



To compare measurements of the full-field photopic negative response (PhNR), as well as intra-subject variation in the PhNR, using time and time–frequency domain analyses.


Full-field ERGs were recorded from 20 normally sighted subjects (aged 24–65 years) elicited by a long-wavelength pulse (3 cd s m−2) presented against a short-wavelength adapting field (12.5 cd m−2). Three to 10 waveforms were obtained from each subject, and each waveform was analyzed using standard time domain analyses of the PhNR, as well as a discrete wavelet transform (DWT) to extract time–frequency components that correspond to the PhNR. Three different measures of the PhNR were derived and compared: (1) amplitude at the PhNR trough; (2) amplitude at 72 ms following stimulus onset; (3) energy in the 11 Hz, 60–120 ms DWT frequency bin that corresponds to the PhNR. In addition, the effect of normalizing the PhNR by the b-wave was evaluated for each of the measures. Coefficients of variation (CVs) were computed for each definition to evaluate intra-subject variation.


PhNR amplitudes measured at the trough and at 72 ms were significantly correlated (r = 0.88, p < 0.001). Additionally, PhNR energy derived by DWT was significantly correlated with the amplitude measured at the trough (r = 0.64, p = 0.002) and at 72 ms (r = 0.60, p = 0.005). Mean (±SD) intra-subject CVs were 26 % (15 %), 49 % (26 %), and 30 % (15 %), for measures at the trough, 72 ms, and DWT, respectively. Normalization by the b-wave amplitude (i.e., PhNR/b) had minimal effect on the intra-subject CVs, whereas normalization by the sum of the b-wave and PhNR amplitudes (i.e., PhNR/[b + PhNR]) substantially reduced the CVs for all three measures (mean CVs were less than 17 % for all conditions).


Although each PhNR definition has advantages and disadvantages, all three metrics provide similar estimates of the PhNR. Intra-subject CVs, however, were relatively high for measurements made at 72 ms, indicating that definitions based on a fixed time point may introduce variability. The substantial decrease in intra-subject variation after normalization by the sum of the PhNR and b-wave amplitudes may be advantageous under some conditions.


Electroretinogram (ERG) Photopic negative response Discrete wavelet analysis 



This research was supported by National Institutes of Health research Grants R01EY026004 (JM) and P30EY001792 (UIC core grant), an unrestricted departmental grant and a Dolly Green Special Scholar Award (JM) from Research to Prevent Blindness.


The National Institutes of Health and Research to Prevent Blindness provided financial support in the form of funding. The sponsors had no role in the design or conduct of this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

All authors certify that they have no affiliations with or involvement in any organization or entity with any financial interest (such as honoraria; educational grants; participation in speakers’ bureaus; membership, employment, consultancies, stock ownership, or other equity interest; and expert testimony or patent-licensing arrangements), or non-financial interest (such as personal or professional relationships, affiliations, knowledge or beliefs) in the subject matter or materials discussed in this manuscript.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.

Supplementary material

10633_2016_9558_MOESM1_ESM.tif (922 kb)
Supplementary Figure 1: The DWT of the mean waveform is shown in the top panel (replotted from Fig. 1). The middle panel shows the effects on DWT energy of setting the mean response voltage to 0 μV after 60 ms; the PhNR component is absent. The bottom panel shows the effects on DWT energy of setting the mean response voltage to 0 μV from 0 ms to 60 ms; the PhNR component is present, but the early a-wave and b-wave components are strongly attenuated. (TIFF 922 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Ophthalmology and Visual SciencesUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Department of BioengineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

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