June 2006
Volume 6, Issue 6
Vision Sciences Society Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2006
Inter-subject variability of the visual evoked potential
Author Affiliations
  • Sangita Dandekar
    Vision Science Graduate Group
  • Justin Ales
    Vision Science Graduate Group
  • Thom Carney
    Vision Science Graduate Group, and School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley, and Neurometrics Institute
  • Stanley Klein
    Vision Science Graduate Group, and Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute, and School of Optometry, University of California, Berkeley
Journal of Vision June 2006, Vol.6, 428. doi:https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.428
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      Sangita Dandekar, Justin Ales, Thom Carney, Stanley Klein; Inter-subject variability of the visual evoked potential. Journal of Vision 2006;6(6):428. https://doi.org/10.1167/6.6.428.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Multiple groups have informally observed that the two dominant temporal principal components (PCs) of the pattern reversal VEP obtained with singular value decomposition (SVD) exhibit little inter-subject variability relative to the inter-subject variability of the raw VEP. Using a unique application of SVD we quantify this variability.


The multifocal VEP stimulus consisted of a dartboard pattern containing 48 checkerboard patches modulated by a 16 bit m-sequence. The checkerboard reversal response for each patch at each of 96 electrodes was calculated by cross-correlation. SVD was applied individually to the data from each of 5 subjects to determine the two dominant PCs per subject. Application of SVD to a matrix formed by concatenating the two dominant temporal PCs of each subject was used to determine ‘composite’ inter-subject PCs.


When SVD was performed on individual subject data within a time window of 220 msec approximately centered on the first peak of the VEP, the dominant pair of temporal PCs accounted for on average 77% of the variance. The composite first and second PCs (as determined via SVD of the matrix containing the pair of dominant PCs from each subject) accounted for 85% of the inter-subject variance.


Standard VEPs are notoriously variable from subject to subject. These differences are assumed to primarily be a result of our unique cortical convolution patterns. SVD reveals a robust similarity between early cortical responses.

Dandekar, S. Ales, J. Carney, T. Klein, S. (2006). Inter-subject variability of the visual evoked potential [Abstract]. Journal of Vision, 6(6):428, 428a, http://journalofvision.org/6/6/428/, doi:10.1167/6.6.428. [CrossRef]
 NIH EY015825, NIH T32 EY07

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