Documenta Ophthalmologica

, Volume 122, Issue 1, pp 39–52 | Cite as

The relationship between stimulus intensity and response amplitude for the photopic negative response of the flash electroretinogram

  • A. M. BinnsEmail author
  • K. E. Mortlock
  • R. V. North
Original research article


The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between stimulus intensity and response amplitude for the photopic negative response (PhNR) of the flash ERG. Specific aims were (i) to determine whether a generalized Naka–Rushton function provided a good fit to the intensity–response data and (ii) to determine the variability of the parameters of the best-fitting Naka–Rushton models. Electroretinograms were recorded in 18 participants, on two occasions, using both DTL fibre and skin active electrodes, in response to Ganzfeld red stimuli (Lee filter “terry red”) ranging in stimulus strength from −1.30 to 0.53 log cd.s.m−2 (0.28–2.11 log phot td.s) presented over a steady blue background (Schott glass filter BG28; 3.9 log scot td). PhNR amplitude was measured from b-wave peak and from pre-stimulus baseline. The Naka–Rushton function was fitted to all intensity–response data, and parameters, ‘n’, ‘Vmax’ and ‘K’ were obtained. Coefficients of variation (CoV), and inter-ocular and inter-session limits of agreement (LoA) were calculated for both Naka–Rushton parameters. A generalized Naka–Rushton function was found to provide a good fit to the intensity–response data, except at the highest stimulus intensity, where a reduction in amplitude occurred in many individuals. The ‘Vmax’ parameter was less variable than ‘K’ for all intensity–response data. Variability was lower for DTL than skin electrodes, and for peak-to-trough PhNR measurements, compared to baseline-to-trough. This study has demonstrated for the first time that the Naka–Rushton model provides a useful means of quantifying the intensity–response relationship of the PhNR.


Photopic negative response PhNR Variability Electroretinogram Naka–Rushton function Intensity–response series 








We would like to thank Fiona Duncan, Jeffery Tse and Sheryl Chung, who helped to collect some data for this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Optometry and Vision SciencesCardiff UniversityCardiffUK

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