Directional motion asymmetry in infant VEPs--which direction?
Mason AJ., Braddick OJ., Wattam-Bell J., Atkinson J.
Monocular viewing during early infancy reveals asymmetries in optokinetic nystagmus (OKN) and visual evoked potentials (VEPs). This study investigates the VEP asymmetry to see if it is consistent in direction with the OKN asymmetry. Steady-state VEPs were recorded from infants (5-21 weeks) viewing gratings that underwent successive displacements in the same direction, leftward or rightward. In addition, transient VEPs were recorded to the two directions of an oscillating stimulus. Both tests produced larger VEP amplitudes for nasal-to-temporal compared to temporal-to-nasal movement. Horizontal eye movements were monitored by EOG while viewing these stimuli to test whether the asymmetry was a consequence of eye movements. No difference in eye movements as a function of the stimulus was found, excluding differences in retinal slip as an explanation of the asymmetry. The stronger neural response for nasal-to-temporal displacements is opposite to the asymmetry of OKN. Oculomotor and VEP asymmetries may be related; however this relationship is not simply that the stronger neural response, indicated by the VEP, leads to a stronger optokinetic response.