Monocular and binocular steady-state flicker VEPs: frequency-response functions to sinusoidal and square-wave luminance modulation

David Nicol, Ruth Hamilton, Uma Shahani, Daphne McCulloch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Steady-state VEPs to full-field flicker (FFF) using sinusoidally modulated light were compared with those elicited by square-wave modulated light across a wide range of stimulus frequencies with monocular and binocular FFF stimulation. Binocular and monocular VEPs were elicited in 12 adult volunteers to FFF with two modes of temporal modulation: sinusoidal or square-wave (abrupt onset and offset, 50% duty cycle) at ten temporal frequencies ranging from 2.83 to 58.8 Hz. All stimuli had a mean luminance of 100 cd/m(2) with an 80% modulation depth (20-180 cd/m(2)). Response magnitudes at the stimulus frequency (F1) and at the double and triple harmonics (F2 and F3) were compared. For both sinusoidal and square-wave flicker, the FFF-VEP magnitudes at F1 were maximal for 7.52 Hz flicker. F2 was maximal for 5.29 Hz flicker, and F3 magnitudes are largest for flicker stimulation from 3.75 to 7.52 Hz. Square-wave flicker produced significantly larger F1 and F2 magnitudes for slow flicker rates (up to 5.29 Hz for F1; at 2.83 and 3.75 Hz for F2). The F3 magnitudes were larger overall for square-wave flicker. Binocular FFF-VEP magnitudes are larger than those of monocular FFF-VEPs, and the amount of this binocular enhancement is not dependant on the mode of flicker stimulation (mean binocular: monocular ratio 1.41, 95% CI: 1.2-1.6). Binocular enhancement of F1 for 21.3 Hz flicker was increased to a factor of 2.5 (95% CI: 1.8-3.5). In the healthy adult visual system, FFF-VEP magnitudes can be characterized by the frequency-response functions of F1, F2 and F3. Low-frequency roll-off in the FFF-VEP magnitudes is greater for sinusoidal flicker than for square-wave flicker for rates = 5.29 Hz; magnitudes for higher-frequency flicker are similar for the two types of flicker. Binocular FFF-VEPs are larger overall than those recorded monocularly, and this binocular summation is enhanced at 21.3 Hz in the mid-frequency range.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3
Pages (from-to)63-70
Number of pages7
JournalDocumenta Opthalmologica
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2011


  • binocular vision
  • full field flicker
  • vision sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Monocular and binocular steady-state flicker VEPs: frequency-response functions to sinusoidal and square-wave luminance modulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this