Previous studies report that background luminance flicker, which is asynchronous with signal averaging, reduces the amplitude and increases the latency of the pattern-onset visual evoked potential (VEP). This effect has been attributed to saturation of the magnocellular (m-) pathway by the flicker stimulus. In the current study, we evaluate this hypothesis and further characterize this effect. We found that flicker had similar effects on the pattern-onset and pattern-reversal VEP, suggesting that the reversal and onset responses have similar generators. Chromatic flicker decreased latency of the chromatic VEP whereas luminance flicker increased peak latency to luminance targets. This result indicates that luminance flicker saturates a rapidly conducting m-pathway whereas chromatic flicker saturates a more slowly conducting parvocellular (p-) pathway. Finally, evoked potentials to chromatic and luminance stimuli were recorded from 34 electrodes over the scalp in the presence of static and asynchronously modulated backgrounds. An equivalent dipole model was used to assess occipital, parietal, and temporal lobe components of the surface response topography. Results showed that chromatic flicker reduced activity to a greater extent in the ventral visual pathway whereas luminance flicker reduced activity to a greater extent in the dorsal visual pathway to parietal lobe. We conclude that the VEP to isoluminant color and luminance stimuli contains both m- and p-pathway components. Asynchronous flicker can be used to selectively reduce the contribution of these pathways to the surface recorded VEP. Our results provide evidence of parallel pathways in the human visual system, with a dorsal luminance channel projecting predominantly to the posterior parietal lobe and a ventral color channel projecting predominantly to inferior temporal lobe.