Original Research Article

Documenta Ophthalmologica

, 123:65

First online:

Spatial frequency differentially affects habituation in migraineurs: a steady-state visual-evoked potential study

  • Koichi ShibataAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Tokyo Women’s Medical University Email author 
  • , Kiyomi YamaneAffiliated withDepartment of Neurology, Neurological Institute, Ohta General Hospital
  • , Yoshiko NishimuraAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Tokyo Women’s Medical University
  • , Hiromi KondoAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Tokyo Women’s Medical University
  • , Kuniaki OtukaAffiliated withDepartment of Medicine, Tokyo Women’s Medical University

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A lack of habituation in visual-evoked potentials (VEPs) is the main abnormality observed in migraineurs. However, no study of steady-state VEPs has yet evaluated pattern-reversal stimuli with respect to habituation behavior or spatial frequency. The aim of this study was to clarify habituation behavior in migraineurs between attacks and to establish characteristics of VEPs in these patients. Steady-state VEPs were sequentially recorded as checkerboard patterns in four consecutive blocks from 12 patients with migraine without aura (MO), 12 patients with migraine with aura (MA), and 12 healthy controls (HC) at four spatial frequencies of 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 cycles per degree (cpd) with a stimulus rate of 7.5 Hz (15 reversal/s). VEP amplitudes were consistently higher in migraineurs. However, habituation was not demonstrated in HCs, and migraineurs did not reveal a clear lack of habituation. MAs exhibited high-amplitude VEPs, depending on spatial frequency. In the MA patients, amplitude differences reached statistical significance at 2.0 cpd. The sequential amplitude changes at 0.5 cpd were significantly different in MAs compared with HCs. Migraine patients exhibited high-amplitude VEPs, which were dependent on spatial frequency, and may be related to altered excitability in pre-cortical and cortical visual processing.


Migraine Visual-evoked potential Habituation Spatial frequency Visual processing Hyperreactivity