Motion-onset VEPs: characteristics, methods, and diagnostic use

Vision Res. 2007 Jan;47(2):189-202. doi: 10.1016/j.visres.2006.09.020. Epub 2006 Nov 28.


This review article summarises the research on the motion-onset visual evoked potentials (VEPs) and important motion stimulus parameters which have been clarified. For activation of the visual motion processing system and evocation of the motion-onset specific N2 peak (with latency of 160-200ms) from the extra-striate temporo-occipital and/or parietal cortex, the following stimulus parameters can be recently recommended: low luminance (<ca. 20cd/m(2)) and low contrast (<ca. 10%-sinusoidally modulated) of a moving structure with low velocity and temporal frequency (<ca. 6Hz). A short (up to 200ms) duration of motion and a long (at least 1s) inter-stimulus interval reduce adaptation to motion and predominance of a pattern-related P1 peak. Radial motion (with increasing velocity and decreasing spatial frequency towards the periphery) produces larger reactions as compared to a unidirectional translation. In view of the slow maturation (up to the age of 18 years) and early ageing of the visual motion processing system, the use of age-dependent latency norms may be necessary. Since early or selective involvement of the motion processing system is suspected in some CNS disorders, we suggest an evaluation of the utility of motion-onset VEPs as part of the electrophysiological CNS examination since this method may recognise motion processing involvement better than other methods. Motion-onset VEPs might increase the sensitivity of this examination for diagnosing CNS diseases including Multiple Sclerosis, Neuroborreliosis, Glaucoma, Dyslexia and Encephalopathies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Central Nervous System Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Contrast Sensitivity
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual*
  • Humans
  • Motion Perception*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Visual Pathways