Electroretinographic changes in aged pigeons

V. Porciatti, W. Hodos, G. Signorini, F. Bramanti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Photopic electroretinograms, either to full-field light flashes (FERGs) or to contrast-reversal of square-wave gratings (PERGs) have been recorded in pigeons aged 2 years old (n = 5) and 10 years old (n = 5). Mydriatic pupil diameter, ophthalmoscopic appearance of the retinal fundus and optic media, and refractive state were comparable in the two groups. V log I functions of individual FERG components (a-wave, b-wave and oscillatory potentials) displayed significantly lower slopes in the old birds than in the young, which suggests a reduction in retinal gain. PERG amplitude also was significantly lower in the older birds over a wide range of spatial frequencies (0.2-8.8 c/deg). Estimated visual acuity based on the extrapolated high-frequency cut off was 18 c/deg in the younger birds and 7.8 c/deg in the older birds. These results are in agreement with psychophysical data and retinal age-related losses in visual acuity, photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells. Since these findings are comparable to those reported for humans, the results suggest that pigeons may serve as a useful model for human visual aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)661-668
Number of pages8
JournalVision Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1991
Externally publishedYes


  • Age
  • ERG
  • Flash
  • Pattern
  • Pigeons
  • Retina
  • Tectal evoked potential

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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