Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) offer reproducible and quantitative data on the function of the visual pathways and the visual cortex. Pattern reversal VEPs to full-field stimulation are best suited to evaluate anterior visual pathways while hemi-field stimulation is most effective in the assessment of post-chiasmal function. However, visual information is processed simultaneously via multiple parallel channels and each channel constitutes a set of sequential processes. We outline the major parallel pathways of the visual system from the retina to the primary visual cortex and higher visual areas via lateral geniculate nucleus that receive visual input. There is no best method of stimulus selection, rather visual stimuli and VEPs' recording should be tailored to answer specific clinical and/or research questions. Newly developed techniques that can assess the functions of extrastriate as well as striate cortices are discussed. Finally, an algorithm of sequential steps to evaluate the various levels of visual processing is proposed and its clinical use revisited.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sensory Systems
- Clinical Neurology
- Physiology (medical)