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Electrooculography

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Electrooculography (EOG) is a medical technique for measuring the resting potential of the retina, the resulting signal is called electrooculogram. The main applications are in ophthalmological diagnosis and in recording eye movements. As opposed to the electroretinogram, the EOG does not represent the response to individual visual stimuli.

Eye movement measurements: Usually, pairs of electrodes are placed either above and below the eye or to the left and right of the eye. If the eye is moved from the center position towards one electrode, this electrode "sees" the positive side of the retina and the opposite electrode "sees" the negative side of the retina. Consequently, a potential difference occurs between the electrodes. Assuming that the resting potential is constant, the recorded potential is a measure for the eye position.

Ophthalmological diagnosis: The EOG is used in to assess the function of the pigment epithelium. During dark adaptation, the resting potential decreases slightly and reaches a minimum ("dark trough") after several minutes. When the light is switched on, a substantial increase of the resting potential occurs ("light peak"), which drops off after a few minutes when the retina adapts to the light. The ratio of the voltages (i.e. light peak divided by dark trough) is known as the Arden ratio. In practice, the measurement is similar to the eye movement recordings (see above). The patient is asked to switch the eye position repeatedly between two points (usually to the left and right of the center). Since these positions are constant, a change in the recorded potential originates from a change in the resting potential.

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