Multifocal visual evoked potentials in the anesthetized non-human primate

Nathan A. Maertz, Charlene B.Y. Kim, T. Michael Nork, Leonard A. Levin, Mark J. Lucarelli, Paul L. Kaufman, James N. Ver Hoeve

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Purpose: To evaluate monkey multifocal visual evoked cortical potentials (mfVEPs) recorded from central and peripheral fields for reliability and isolation from electroretinographic (ERG) activity. Methods: The mfVEP stimulus consisted of a 7-element hexagonal array that subtended 80 degrees of the central visual field. Recordings were made under intravenous pentobarbital sodium (15 mg/kg) anesthesia. Two monkeys with absent optic nerve and ganglion cell function after combined unilateral optic nerve transection and experimental ocular hypertension (ONT/OHT) were followed longitudinally. In a second study, 16 ophthalmologically normal monkeys were tested once. Results: Testing of the non-transected eye in two transected animals revealed robust first- and second-order kernel, first slice (K1 and K2.1) mfVEPs. Stimulation of the transected eye revealed no contamination of the mfVEP from the concurrently recorded multifocal ERGs. There was complete separation of the root-mean-square (RMS) mfVEP amplitudes from the transected and the fellow eyes tested repeatedly across a 4- to 17- month period. The largest amplitude mfVEP was generated by the central element; however, mfVEPs were recorded from outside the central 20 degrees element. The 16 normal animals showed waveforms similar to the normal eyes of the ONT/OHT animals both in shape and distribution throughout the visual field. A scalar-product measure showed both K1 and K2.1 mfVEPs from central and some peripheral elements were statistically distinct from noise. Conclusions: mfVEPs can be reliably recorded from non-human primates anesthetized with pentobarbital. Under the recording conditions described, mfVEPs are not contaminated by ERG activity. mfVEPs may be useful in animal models of diseases that differentially affect macular and peripheral visual field responsiveness.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)885-893
Number of pages9
JournalCurrent Eye Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Anesthesia
  • Barbiturate
  • Multifocal visual evoked cortical potential
  • Non-human primate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

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