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The 59th annual ISCEV symposium Liverpool, United Kingdom, 3rd–6th August 2022

Liverpool, a maritime mercantile city on the west coast of UK, has a rich maritime and industrial history and vibrant music and art culture. Liverpool’s port is a past UNESCO world heritage site. The harbour and many attractions are within easy walking distance of the award-winning Central Teaching Hub of the University of Liverpool, where the conference takes place. Liverpool has fast transport links to other UK landmark cities and is within easy reach of picturesque rural idylls such as Lake District, which has inspired romantic poets such as William Wordsworth and Samuel Coleridge and children’s authors such as Beatrix Potter (Peter Rabbit) and Arthur Ransome (Swallows and Amazons).

The diverse symposium social programme provides opportunities to learn about the history of Liverpool, beginning with a reception at Liverpool City Town Hall, a boat trip on the famous Mersey Ferry, visits to National Trust gardens and even a chance to trace the Beatles journey of popular music culture. The ISCEV Olympics take place in Abercromby Square, a picturesque Victorian park, with bandstand and formal gardens, in the centre of the University of Liverpool. The gala dinner is held in the Maritime Museum, situated in the recently restored waterfront area of the city.

We are delighted that the first invited speaker of the symposium giving the Dawson lecture is Prof. Arvind Chandna, formerly a consultant Ophthalmologist at Alder Hay Children’s Hospital, Liverpool. His lecture, ‘Clinical applications of the Steady State VEP’, reflects the research he now continues as principal investigator at the Smith Kettlewell Eye Research Institute, where he leads the Oculomotor and Steady State VEP Lab, with research projects on cerebral visual impairment (CVI), strabismus, amblyopia and binocular vision. We are also thrilled than Prof Sven-Erik Nilsson, honorary member and former ISCEV president (1983–1991), has agreed to give a short personal history of how ISCERG became ISCEV with a talk entitled ‘The early days of visual electrophysiology and the foundation of ISCERG/ISCEV’. Dr Scott Brodie will also be contributing an historical review of the first ISCERG meeting in 1961 from the organisation’s archive.

The prestigious Emiko Adachi award lecture will be given this year by Dr Mitch Brigell, ISCEV Board member from 2002 including roles as Director of Standards, Vice President for the Americas and Symposium co-ordinator, Prof. Brigell is a vision scientist who has extensive experience of leading translational clinical research and strategic clinical development in the pharmaceutical industry. He will speak on the subject of ‘Putting it all into context’.

Wrapped around these invited highlights is an eclectic mix of almost 80 clinical and scientific communications presented during the symposium and published in this online Supplement to Documenta Ophthalmologica. The scientific review committee has curated these into nine oral and two poster sessions. The submissions reflect the developing themes in current visual electrophysiology practice and encompass complementary findings from ocular imaging, psychophysics, pupillometry and even machine learning.

The consistency of the ISCEV standard ERG lends itself to interpretation by artificial intelligence (AI) with significant implications for diagnosis and interpretation. In Session 1 we learn how machine learning is used to categorise patients with ABCA4-retinopathy introducing the theme of retinal phenotyping. Session 2 looks at how extended ERGs, such as OPs, chromatic flashes and on–off stimulation, expand the phenotype. Session 3 explores aging changes in flicker ERGs and reference ranges, whilst Session 4 presents studies of mice and men, examining the pre-clinical electrophysiology of animal models of human disease. Session 5 discusses VEPs in albinism and nystagmus and includes the largest sample size of the meeting; 1000 twins who participated in a genomic wide association study of flicker ERG peak time. Session 6, entitled the ‘President’s session’, provides an inside view of the first ISCERG meeting and references visual electrophysiology measures of visual acuity. Session 8 describes new applications of technology such as nanoparticles, digital light projectors and community use of electrophysiology by advance practice nurses. Finally, session 9 considers paediatric applications of electrophysiology, including a study that addresses the FAQ about the utility of the flash VEP. The topics of the two poster sessions embedded into the programme range from the carbon footprint of electrophysiology through analysis methodologies to novel imaging and electrophysiology findings after surgery or in disease. There is also an interactive clinical case session moderated by Richard Smith and John Grigg.

Preceding the scientific conference, are two days of clinical and pre-clinical visual electrophysiology courses co-ordinated by Suresh Viswanathan and supported by Vicky Kearns, a Senior Lecturer in Ocular Biomaterials at Liverpool’s School of Veterinary Science. The British Society for Clinical Electrophysiology of Vision (BriSCEV) annual two-day meeting runs in parallel, sharing the programme of the second day of the course and first day of the main ISCEV symposium. It includes the popular ‘safe space’ peer case discussions and a speak-easy forum about UK training pathways in electrophysiology.

We thank the scientific committee Ruth Hamilton, Richard Smith, Richard Hagan, Tony Fisher and Dorothy Thompson for curating a stimulating ISCEV symposium programme.


Dorothy Thompson VP Europe and North Africa, on behalf of the local organisers.


Organising committee

Richard Smith (Symposium coordinator)

Colin Barber (Symposium coordinator)

Richard Hagan

Gillian Rudduck

Tony Fisher

Vicky Kearns

Vicky Seaton

Oliver Marmoy

Vikki McBain

Joanne Cowe

Clare Warriner


Figure caption: The 59th ISCEV Symposium Committee (left to right): Richard Smith, Tony Fisher, Richard Hagan and Ruth Hamilton, Liverpool, June 2022.

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Thompson, D. The 59th annual ISCEV symposium Liverpool, United Kingdom, 3rd–6th August 2022. Doc Ophthalmol (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10633-022-09884-w

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