Sign-dependent changes in retinal electrical activity with positive and negative defocus in the human eye

Wing Cheung Ho, On Ying Wong, Yuen Chi Chan, Sze Wai Wong, Chea Su Kee, Ho Lung Henry Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of optical defocus on changes of electrical response as a function of retinal region. Twenty-three subjects (aged 19-25. year) with normal ocular health were recruited for global flash multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG) recordings under control (fully corrected) condition, and short-term positive defocus (+2D and +4D) and negative defocus (-2D and -4D) conditions. The amplitudes and implicit times of direct (DC) and induced (IC) components of mfERG responses were pooled into six concentric rings for analyses. The mfERG responses demonstrated more significant changes in amplitude in paracentral retinal regions than in the central regions under defocused conditions. The paracentral DC amplitude showed a significant reduction under negative defocus conditions. In contrast, the paracentral IC amplitude showed a significant increment under positive defocus conditions. Interestingly, the central IC response showed significant reduction in amplitude only to negative defocus, while increasing its amplitude to positive defocus. However, the DC and IC implicit times were virtually unaffected under defocused conditions. Our findings suggest that human retina is able to differentiate defocused signals and to identify positive and negative defocus. It shows that paracentral retina reacts more vigorously to optical defocus than does central retina.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalVision Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012


  • Global flash
  • Multifocal electroretinogram (mfERG)
  • Neural activity
  • Optical defocus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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