Semi-invasive and non-invasive recording of visual evoked potentials in mice

Silvia Marenna, Valerio Castoldi, Raffaele d’Isa, Cursi Marco, Giancarlo Comi, Letizia Leocani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Visual evoked potentials (VEPs) are used to assess visual function in preclinical models of neurodegenerative diseases. VEP recording with epidural screw electrodes is a common method to study visual function in rodents, despite being an invasive procedure that can damage the tissue under the skull. The present study was performed to test a semi-invasive (epicranial) and a non-invasive (epidermal) VEP recording technique, comparing them with the classic epidural acquisition method. Methods: Flash VEPs were recorded from C57BL/6 mice on three separate days within 2 weeks. Waveforms, latencies and amplitudes of the components were compared between the three different methods, utilizing coefficient of repeatability, coefficient of variation and intersession standard deviation to evaluate reproducibility. Results: While epidural electrodes succeeded in recording two negative peaks (N1 and N2), epicranial and epidermal electrodes recorded a single peak (N1). Statistical indexes showed a comparable reproducibility between the three techniques, with a greater stability of N1 latency recorded through epicranial electrodes. Moreover, N1 amplitudes recorded with the new less-invasive methods were more reproducible compared to the invasive gold-standard technique. Conclusions: These results demonstrate the reliability of semi- and non-invasive VEP recordings, which can be useful to evaluate murine models of neurological diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-179
Number of pages11
JournalDocumenta Ophthalmologica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 15 2019


  • Animal welfare
  • Epicranial electrode
  • Epidermal electrode
  • Epidural electrode
  • Flash visual evoked potentials
  • Non-invasive electrophysiology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Physiology (medical)


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