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William V. Good, Chuan Hou; Sweep Visual Evoked Potential Grating Acuity Thresholds Paradoxically Improve in Low-Luminance Conditions in Children with Cortical Visual Impairment. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2006;47(7):3220-3224. doi: 10.1167/iovs.05-1252.
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purpose. Children with cortical or cerebral visual impairment (CVI) often experience photophobia. In a study conducted to test whether this clinical phenomenon affects visual function, the sweep visual evoked potential (VEP) was used to evaluate cortical responses to grating stimuli in two luminance conditions: low and normal.
methods. Twenty children (age range, 7 months to 4 years 10 months) with CVI and 17 age-matched control subjects were examined. Testing conditions consisted of a swept grating stimulus shown against a normal background luminance (109 cd/m2) and against a low-luminance background (20 cd/m2). Thresholds in these two luminance conditions were compared. Response amplitudes across the spatial frequency domain were also compared.
results. Children with CVI paradoxically have improved grating acuity thresholds when the stimulus is shown using a low-luminance background (P = 0.006). Response amplitudes are also increased in low luminance. In control children, luminance had no significant effect on response amplitudes or thresholds.
conclusions. Increased luminance causes a worsening of acuity thresholds in children with CVI. Response amplitudes are also diminished in normal luminance. This finding has implications for optimal viewing and learning conditions for children with CVI.
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