Brain Topography

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 506–514 | Cite as

On the Differentiation of Foveal and Peripheral Early Visual Evoked Potentials

  • Bruce C. Hansen
  • Andrew M. Haun
  • Aaron P. Johnson
  • Dave Ellemberg
Short Communication


The C1 is one of the earliest visual evoked potentials observed following the onset of a patterned stimulus. The polarity of its peak is dependent on whether stimuli are presented in the upper or lower regions of the peripheral visual field, but has been argued to be negative for stimuli presented to the fovea. However, there has yet to be a systematic investigation into the extent to which the peripheral C1 (pC1) and foveal C1 (fC1) can be differentiated on the basis of response characteristics to different stimuli. The current study employed checkerboard patterns (Exp 1) and sinusoidal gratings of different spatial frequency (Exp 2) presented to the fovea or within one of the four quadrants of the peripheral visual field. The checkerboard stimuli yielded a sizable difference in peak component latency, with the fC1 peaking ~32 ms after the pC1. Further, the pC1 showed a band-pass response magnitude profile that peaked at 4 cycles per degree (cpd), whereas the fC1 was high-pass for spatial frequency, with a cut-off around 4 cpd. Finally, the scalp topographies of the pC1 and fC1 in both experiments differed greatly, with the fC1 being more posterior than the pC1. The results reported here call into question recent attempts to characterize general C1 processes without regard to whether stimuli are placed in the fovea or in the periphery.


Visual evoked potentials (VEP) C1 Foveal vision Peripheral vision Spatial frequency 



National Science Foundation (1337614), James S McDonnell Foundation (220020430), and Colgate Research Council Grants to BCH; National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Grant to APJ; NSERC Grant (R0014772) to DE.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare no competing financial interests.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce C. Hansen
    • 1
  • Andrew M. Haun
    • 2
  • Aaron P. Johnson
    • 3
  • Dave Ellemberg
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Psychology, Neuroscience ProgramColgate UniversityHamiltonUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of Wisconsin-MadisonMadisonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyConcordia UniversityMontrealCanada
  4. 4.Centre de recherche en neuropsychologie et cognition (CERNEC)Université de MontréalMontrealCanada

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