Studies on the luminance-related characteristics of the transient pattern reversal electroretinogram

  • Wei Lu

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The electroretinogram evoked by reversal pattern stimulation (rPERG) is known to contain both pattern contrast and luminance related components. The retinal mechanisms of the transient rPERGs subserving these functional characteristics are the main concern in the present studies. Considerable attention has been paid to the luminance-related characteristics of the response.
The transient PERGs were found to consist of two subsequent processes using low frequency attenuation analysis. The processes overlapped and the individual difference in each process timings formed the major cause for the variations of the negative potential waveform of the transient rPERGs.
Attention has been paid to those having ‘notch’ type of variation. Under different contrast levels, the amplitudes of the positive and negative potentials were linearly increased with higher contrast level and the negative potential showed a higher sensitivity to contrast changes and higher contrast gain. Under lower contrast levels, the decreased amplitudes made the difference in the timing course of the positive and negative processes evident, interpreting the appearance of the notch in some cases. Visual adaptation conditions for recording the transient rPERG were discussed.
Another effort was to study the large variation of the transient rPERGs (especially the positive potential, P50) in the elderly who’s distant and near visual acuity were normal. It was found that reduction of retinal illumination contributed mostly to the P50 amplitude loss and contrast loss mostly to the negative potential (N95) amplitude loss. Senile miosis was thought to have little effect on the reduction of the retinal illumination, while the changes in the optics of the eye was probably the major cause for it, which interpreted the larger individual variation of the P50 amplitude of the elderly PERGs. Convex defocus affected the transient rPERGs more effectively than concave lenses, especially the N95 amplitude in the elderly. The disability of accommodation and the type and the degree of subjects’ ametropia should be taken into consideration when the elderly rPERGs were analysed.
Date of AwardMar 1996
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorGraham F.A. Harding (Supervisor)


  • pattern electroretinogram
  • transient reversal pattern
  • luminance-related response
  • defocus
  • near vision

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