Maturation of visually evoked potentials in the normal child

Laget, P.; Flores-Guevara, R.; D'Allest, A.M.; Ostre, C.; Raimbault, J.; Mariani, J.

Electroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology 43(5): 732-744


ISSN/ISBN: 0013-4694
PMID: 72653
DOI: 10.1016/0013-4694(77)90088-8
Accession: 068519415

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An investigation of the various phases of maturation of the visual evoked response (VER) in 449 normal, awake children aged 3 days-15 yr. VER was recorded at the inion and elicited by an intense and brief flash. All subjects were awake, with their eyes open. The VER of the newborn infant showed an immature morphology, differing widely from that of the adult. The VER of the newborn was characterized by a large and delayed surface positive deflection with a culmination time of about 190 ms. During the 1st wk of postnatal life this surface-positive deflection may be preceded by much earlier deflections that can be classed as No, P1 and N2. After the 2nd month of postnatal life, VER of a very different morphology from the former were recorded, with a large surface negative wave culminating around 175 ms. No large and late surface-positive VER of the immature type were observed after the 6th mo. of postnatal life. The frequency at which the 4 earliest deflections were observed increased markedly with age during the 1st yr of life. The average values of the culmination times of the No, P1, N1 and N2 deflections decreased markedly with age. They reached minimal and fairly constant values after 1 yr. The deflections occurring after P2 displayed a marked individual variability. They could be classified into 3 types which group at least 90% of all responses, the proportions of which vary with age. The percentage of VER in which the surface positive deflections (P2, P3) were equal to or of longer amplitude than the surface negative waves (N1, N2 N3) increased markedly with age and approaches 50% in the 3-15 yr class. The differences between the maturation pattern of VER and that of somesthetic responses were stressed.