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Optical Engineering

Laser effects on electrophysiological measures of vision: the data and their implications
Author(s): Elmar T. Schmeisser
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Paper Abstract

Since laser exposure in humans is usually limited to accident cases, precise definition of its effects on visual function is difficult to come by. To determine more preciselythese effects and atwhat exposure levels they occur, animal models are required. This immediately poses the problem of how to appropriately ask the animal what it can see. Under the assumption that the visual system of lower primates is sufficiently similar to our own, electrophysiological techniques allow us to trace the production of neuroelectric currents in the visual nervous system, and thus to make conclusions offunction based on signal analysis. These techniques (pattern and luminance electroretinograms, and visual evoked potentials) are useful especially in delineating short-term effects (seconds). Since these signals are "large-scale" responses, their specificity can be set only by precisely delineating the stimuli used to evoke them, a variant of the GIGO (garbage in, garbage out) rule. The results, while obtainable in no other way, are therefore limited. Long-term effects (chronic alterations in visual function) can also be demonstrated with these techniques. This paper reviews both the techniques and the questions to which these techniques have been applied for laser exposure energies ranging from long-term low-level exposures to acute lesion-level exposures in the primate model.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1992
PDF: 7 pages
Opt. Eng. 31(5) doi: 10.1117/12.56156
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 31, Issue 5
Show Author Affiliations
Elmar T. Schmeisser, Univ. of Kentucky (United States)

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