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Clin Neurophysiol. 2008 Apr;119(4):842-52. doi: 10.1016/j.clinph.2007.11.177. Epub 2008 Feb 7.

Non-provocative diagnostics of photosensitivity using visual evoked potentials.

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  • 1Quantitative Imaging Group, Department of Imaging Science and Technology, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Delft University of Technology, Lorentzweg 1, 2628 CJ Delft, The Netherlands.



Photosensitive epilepsy (PSE) is the most common form of reflex epilepsy. Usually, to find out whether a patient is sensitive, he/she is stimulated visually with, e.g. a stroboscopic light stimulus at variable frequency and intensity until a photo paroxysmal response (PPR) occurs. The research described in this work aims to find whether photosensitivity can be detected without provoking a PPR.


Twenty-two subjects, 15 with known photosensitivity, were stimulated with visual stimuli that did not provoke a PPR. Using an "evoked response representation", 18 features were analytically derived from EEG signals. Single- and multi-feature classification paradigms were applied to extract those features that separate best subjects with PSE from controls.


Two variables in the "evoked response representation", a frequency term and a goodness of fit term to a particular template, appeared to be best suited to make a prediction about the photosensitivity of a subject.


Evoked responses appear to carry information about potential PSE.


This result can be useful for screening patients for photosensitivity and it may also help to assess in a quantitative way the effectiveness of medical therapy.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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