Maturation of the pattern-reversal VEP in human infants: a theoretical framework

Vision Res. 1999 Nov;39(22):3673-80. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6989(99)00091-7.


Visual evoked potentials to pattern reversal (PR-VEPs) are used to assess the integrity and maturation of the visual pathways in infants and young children. To establish normal ranges and to facilitate interpolation, we consider the maturation rate of PR-VEPs using published normative data. Curves based on the logistic function (a sigmoid model) are introduced and compared with three other models: (1) the power law function; (2) the sum of two decaying exponentials; and (3) a two-stage linear model. Although methods vary somewhat, remarkable consistency among laboratories is found for the maturation of the major positivity (P1) of PR-VEP. The P1 occurs at approximately 260 ms in neonates and is quite variable. It matures rapidly before 12-14 weeks of age and becomes much less variable. The logistic model provides a parsimonious description of P1 maturation with most rapid maturation at around 6 weeks of age for large patterns and around 9 weeks for small patterns. As inter-laboratory agreement is generally good, the normal ranges based on this model could be used in centres, which do not have their own normative databases for infant VEPs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aging / physiology
  • Child
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Models, Biological
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology
  • Reaction Time
  • Reference Values
  • Vision Tests