A method for estimating intrinsic noise in electroretinographic (ERG) signals

Zele, Andrew J., Feigl, Beatrix, Kambhambati, Pradeep K., Hathibelagal, Amithavikram R., & Kremers, Jan (2015) A method for estimating intrinsic noise in electroretinographic (ERG) signals. Documenta Ophthalmologica, 131(2), pp. 85-94.

[img] Accepted Version (PDF 1MB)
Administrators only | Request a copy from author

View at publisher



To develop a signal processing paradigm for extracting ERG responses to temporal sinusoidal modulation with contrasts ranging from below perceptual threshold to suprathreshold contrasts. To estimate the magnitude of intrinsic noise in ERG signals at different stimulus contrasts.


Photopic test stimuli were generated using a 4-primary Maxwellian view optical system. The 4-primary lights were sinusoidally temporally modulated in-phase (36 Hz; 2.5 - 50% Michelson). The stimuli were presented in 1 s epochs separated by a 1 ms blank interval and repeated 160 times (160.16 s duration) during the recording of the continuous flicker ERG from the right eye using DTL fiber electrodes. After artefact rejection, the ERG signal was extracted using Fourier methods in each of the 1 s epochs where a stimulus was presented. The signal processing allows for computation of the intrinsic noise distribution in addition to the signal to noise (SNR) ratio.


We provide the initial report that the ERG intrinsic noise distribution is independent of stimulus contrast whereas SNR decreases linearly with decreasing contrast until the noise limit at ~2.5%. The 1ms blank intervals between epochs de-correlated the ERG signal at the line frequency (50 Hz) and thus increased the SNR of the averaged response. We confirm that response amplitude increases linearly with stimulus contrast. The phase response shows a shallow positive relationship with stimulus contrast.


This new technique will enable recording of intrinsic noise in ERG signals above and below perceptual visual threshold and is suitable for measurement of continuous rod and cone ERGs across a range of temporal frequencies, and post-receptoral processing in the primary retinogeniculate pathways at low stimulus contrasts. The intrinsic noise distribution may have application as a biomarker for detecting changes in disease progression or treatment efficacy.

Impact and interest:

1 citations in Scopus
1 citations in Web of Science®
Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 87513
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: electroretinogram, noise
DOI: 10.1007/s10633-015-9510-1
ISSN: 1573-2622
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > NEUROSCIENCES (110900) > Sensory Systems (110906)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > OPTOMETRY AND OPHTHALMOLOGY (111300) > Vision Science (111303)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Optometry & Vision Science
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2015 Springer
Deposited On: 17 Sep 2015 00:03
Last Modified: 17 May 2016 08:22

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page