Visual evoked potentials in three-dimensional color space: correlates of spatio-chromatic processing

Vision Res. 1994 Oct;34(20):2657-71. doi: 10.1016/0042-6989(94)90222-4.


Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) were measured for sinusoidal gratings with spatio-chromatic modulation defined in a three-dimensional color space. The spatio-chromatic modulation of the gratings can be decomposed into contributions from an achromatic luminance varying component, an isoluminant component which modulates only the activities of L cones and M cones, and an isoluminant component corresponding to modulation of only S-cone activity. The emphasis of this report is the nature of VEPs resulting from isoluminant spatio-chromatic modulation. The VEP response was characterized along a number of spatial, temporal, and chromatic stimulus dimensions: contrast, spatial frequency, chromaticity in the isoluminant plane, chrominance/luminance ratio, orientation, and temporal frequency. Isoluminant VEPs resulting from stimuli modulating L and M cones are compared with those from S-cone modulation. When appropriate spatiotemporal conditions are employed, both types produce robust VEPs; however, the S-pathway VEPs show considerably longer latencies than do those from LM-pathway activation. The VEP results are compared to psychophysical and single unit electrophysiological observations. VEP latencies exhibit the lowpass character of psychophysical chromatic contrast sensitivity functions but VEP amplitudes show bandpass tuning along both the S and LM axes. An oblique effect, i.e. shorter latencies for horizontal and vertical gratings than for diagonal, is observed in the isoluminant VEP. S-pathway VEPs are used to demonstrate an electophysiological correlate of transient tritanopia. Normative amplitude and latency data for VEPs from selectivity stimulated chromatic mechanisms provide a baseline for clinical electrodiagnostic applications.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Ocular
  • Color Perception / physiology*
  • Contrast Sensitivity / physiology
  • Evoked Potentials, Visual*
  • Humans
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual / physiology*
  • Psychophysics
  • Retinal Cone Photoreceptor Cells / physiology
  • Rotation
  • Time Factors