Intracortical generators of the flash VEP in monkeys

Michael A. Kraut, Joseph C. Arezzo, Herbert G. Vaughan

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143 Scopus citations


Flash visual evoked potentials (VEPs) in unanesthetized monkeys were recorded from the cortical surface and from closely spaced intracortical sites together with associated multiple unit activity (MUA). The VEP depth profiles were subjected to current source density (CSD) analysis to delineate the laminar pattern of transmembrane current flows manifested by extracellular sources and sinks. The initial surface recorded components (P15 and P18) were generated subcortically within the thalamocortical radiations. The distribution of current sources and sinks associated with two subsequent surface negative components, N24 and N40, demonstrates their generation within laminae IVA and IVCb respectively, both parvocellular thalamorecipient layers. Oscillatory potentials resembling those seen in human VEPs are observed riding on N40; analysis of MUA in conjunction with sources and sinks coincident with these wavelets provides evidence that they derive from both thalamocortical and cortical activity. MUA in the 20-60 msec range shows phasic increases throughout lamina IV, which are maximum in amplitude within lamina IVA. This increased firing is concurrent with the sinks observed within the parvocellular thalamorecipient sublaminae IVCb and IVA. A subsequent component, P65, coincident with a decrease in MUA to below the spontaneous level co-located with a lamina IVCb current source, probably arises from intracortically generated inhibitory activity within IVCb. The next VEP component, a surface negative potential at 95 msec, is coincident with current sources and sinks in lamina III, and is consistent with stellate cell input to supragranular elements. VEP components after N95 are not associated with either MUA or CSD activity and are probably generated in extrastriate cortex. Human counterparts of the simian VEP are proposed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)300-312
Number of pages13
JournalElectroencephalography and Clinical Neurophysiology/ Evoked Potentials
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1985
Externally publishedYes


  • flash VEP
  • intracortical generators
  • visual evoked potentials (VEPs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Neurology


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