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Kien Trong Nguyen, Wei-Kuang Liang, Neil G. Muggleton, Norden E. Huang, Chi-Hung Juan; Human visual steady-state responses to amplitude-modulated flicker: Latency measurement. Journal of Vision 2019;19(14):14. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.14.14.
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The response latency of steady-state visually evoked potentials (SSVEPs) is a sensitive measurement for investigating visual functioning of the human brain, specifically in visual development and for clinical evaluation. This latency can be measured from the slope of phase versus frequency of responses by using multiple frequencies of stimuli. In an attempt to provide an alternative measurement of this latency, this study utilized an envelope response of SSVEPs elicited by amplitude-modulated visual stimulation and then compared with the envelope of the generating signal, which was recorded simultaneously with the electroencephalography recordings. The advantage of this measurement is that it successfully estimates the response latency based on the physiological envelope in the entire waveform. Results showed the response latency at the occipital lobe (Oz channel) was approximately 104.55 ms for binocular stimulation, 97.14 ms for the dominant eye, and 104.75 ms for the nondominant eye with no significant difference between these stimulations. Importantly, the response latency at frontal channels (125.84 ms) was significantly longer than that at occipital channels (104.11 ms) during binocular stimulation. Together with strong activation of the source envelope at occipital cortex, these findings support the idea of a feedforward process, with the visual stimuli propagating originally from occipital cortex to anterior cortex. In sum, these findings offer a novel method for future studies in measuring visual response latencies and also potentially shed a new light on understanding of how long collective neural activities take to travel in the human brain.
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