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Ital J Neurol Sci. 1997 Apr;18(2):81-6.

Binocular interaction in normal vision studied by pattern-reversal visual evoked potential (PR-VEPS).

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  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze Neurologiche e della Visione, Universit√† di Verona, Italy.


Monocular and binocular visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in response to different check size (15-21-38-84 minutes or arc) were studied in 14 subjects with normal visual acuity and stereopsis. The binocular VEP amplitude is slightly higher than the VEP amplitude on stimulation of the "better eye" and significantly higher than the VEP amplitude on stimulation of the "worse eye"; this effect is observed using small checks and almost exclusively involved N75-P100. Both the N75 and P100 peaks occur earlier after binocular than monocular stimulation. The shortening of the N75 mean latency is significantly greater than that of the P100 mean latency when larger check sizes are used. The mean latency of the N145 potential is not significantly different in monocular and binocular stimulus conditions. The slight summation effect and latency shortening in the binocular VEPs are not consistent with the hypothesis that it is the sum of separate monocular signals originating from the visual cortex that gives rise to the response. The early components of both monocular and binocular VEPs are thought to be of post-synaptic origin (outside layer 4c of area 17), where the inputs become mixed so that most cells receive information from both eyes. The amplitude enhancement of binocular VEPs, which mainly occurs when using small checks, may be related to the increase in the total amount of cortical activity representing the macular region; this may account for binocular superiority in fine spatial resolution. The latency shortening in binocular conditions can be explained by considering that the critical determinant of the latency is the fundamental spatial frequency of the pattern. When coarse patterns are used, their effectiveness in parafoveal stimulation may affect the VEPs, with a significant contribution coming from the more peripheral retina. The enlargement of the visual field when the eyes see simultaneously may therefore further reduce the latency of the response when using the larger checks suitable for eccentric stimulation.

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