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Poststimulus response characteristics of the human cone flicker electroretinogram



At certain temporal frequencies, the human cone flicker electroretinogram (ERG) contains multiple additional responses following the termination of a flicker train. The purpose of this study was to determine whether these poststimulus responses are a continuing response to the terminated flicker train or represent the oscillation of a resonant system. ERGs were recorded from 10 visually normal adults in response to full-field sinusoidally modulated flicker trains presented against a short-wavelength rod-saturating adapting field. The amplitude and timing properties of the poststimulus responses were evaluated within the context of a model of a second-order resonant system. At stimulus frequencies between 41.7 and 71.4 Hz, the majority of subjects showed at least three additional ERG responses following the termination of the flicker train. The interval between the poststimulus responses was approximately constant across stimulus frequency, with a mean of 14.4 ms, corresponding to a frequency of 69.4 Hz. The amplitude and timing characteristics of the poststimulus ERG responses were well described by an underdamped second-order system with a resonance frequency of 70.3 Hz. The observed poststimulus ERG responses may represent resonant oscillations of retinal ON bipolar cells, as has been proposed for electrophysiological recordings of poststimulus responses from retinal ganglion cells. However, further investigation is required to determine the types of retinal neurons involved in the generation of the poststimulus responses of the human flicker ERG.


Corresponding author

*Address correspondence to: Kenneth R. Alexander, Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences, 1855 W. Taylor Street, Chicago, IL 60612. E-mail:


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Poststimulus response characteristics of the human cone flicker electroretinogram



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