The cortical visual evoked potential (VEP) provides information about the health and function of the visual pathways from the optic nerve as it leaves the back of the eye, to the visual center in the brain. Many people require a combination of these tests to give the complete information about their visual problem.

The visual evoked potential (VEP), or visual evoked response (VER), is a measurement of the electrical signal recorded at the scalp over the occipital c ortex in response to light stimulus. The light-evoked signal, small in amplitude and hidden within the normal electroencephalographic (EEG) signal, is amplified by repetitive stimulation and time-locked, signal-averaging techniques, separating it from the background EEG readings. The precise origin of the VEP signal remains unclear, but it reveals the integrity of the afferent visual pathway; damage anywhere along the path may reduce the signal. The VEP is primarily a function of central visual function, because such a large region of occipital cortex is devoted to macular projections. Thus, peripheral visual loss might be overlooked by VEP testing.

Ophthalmic Electro-Diagnostic Test

Test Name Area Tested Time Taken Dilating Drops
Flash ERG Global Retina(rods and cones) 60 minutes Yes
Pattern ERG Macular (central retinal) function 30 minutes No
EOG Retinal Pigment epithelium 30 minutes No
Cortical VEP Visual pathway (optic nerve to visual center in brain 45 minutes No

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