Measuring visual function

M. Nawrot, E. Shannon, M. Rizzo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The measurement of visual function is central to neuro-ophthalmological assessment. Due to vision's subjective nature, however, visual functioning is not directly observable. Instead, examiners must rely on psychophysical techniques to infer patient visual function. Suitability of the psychophysical technique plays a crucial role in the accuracy of the visual assessment. Basic psychophysical research is relevant to clinicians because it provides new or improved visual tests and a better understanding of visual function and disease. Because psychophysical techniques are difficult to use in uncooperative or nonverbal patients, related electrophysiological techniques are another important tool in the measurement of higher visual function. Visually evoked potentials measure the changing electrical activity over the cortex during visual stimulation, allowing the examiner to make inferences about the integrity of the underlying neural structures. We outline recent evolutions in psychophysical and electrophysiological methods and visual tests.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-37
Number of pages8
JournalCurrent Opinion in Ophthalmology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology


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