Human oscillatory potentials: Intensity-dependence of timing and amplitude

Academic Article


  • Oscillatory potentials (OPs) have been described as reduced in amplitude or delayed in diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, and vascular occlusions. Although OPs are thought to have useful diagnostic applications, some of their basic physiologic properties remain to be fully described. In the present study, we examined the relationship between the timing and amplitude of OPs and stimulus intensity. Five normal volunteers had one eye anesthetized and dilated. Dark-adapted full-field ERGs were recorded to white stimuli of 0.0125-40 cd s/m2. The timing of the OPs was measured as the sum of the time to the peak (TTP) of four peaks beginning at 15 ms after the stimulus. The amplitude was taken as the sum of the amplitudes of those same peaks. As an alternative value, OP strength was represented by the area under the OP curve or power around 150 Hz (±30 Hz) in the frequency domain. The OP timing, as measured by TTP, was found to be inversely related to stimulus intensity. OP-amplitudes grew with intensity, but then declined for stimulus intensities above about 4 cd s/m2. At bright light intensities, the TTP continued to shorten, yet amplitudes, power, and area all declined. Individual OPs behaved similarly and reflected the overall response pattern of the group as a whole. Brighter stimuli produced larger, faster OPs for stimulus strengths up to the intensity standard used to produce OPs (3.5 cd s/m2). We have extended the range of stimuli to some 10-fold higher than the ISCEV standard for producing OPs and found that the timing continued to accelerate but that OP-amplitudes, OP-area, and OP-power all decline at higher stimulus intensities. These alternative measures of OP energy are easily measured and may be useful for further studies. © Springer-Verlag 2008.
  • Authors

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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hancock HA; Kraft TW
  • Start Page

  • 215
  • End Page

  • 222
  • Volume

  • 117
  • Issue

  • 3