Background: The standing potential of the eye exhibits a slow damped oscillation under light and dark conditions that continues for at least 80 minutes. However, our understanding of the relationship between the slow dark and light oscillation has not been previously studied. The aim of this study was to explore through regression analysis a model of these oscillations in order to establish if they may have the same underlying cellular generators. Methods: Healthy participants undertook recordings of the standing potential using the electro-oculogram for 100 minutes. To explore the light oscillation, participants (n = 8) were dilated and performed an extended electro-oculogram protocol consisting of 15 minutes dark adaptation and 85 minutes of white light adaptation at 100 cd/m2. For the dark oscillation, participants (n = 11) undertook the electro-oculogram for 100 minutes in complete darkness. Both sessions began with pre-adaptation to 30 cd/m2 of white light for five minutes. Non-parametric statistics were used to evaluate all data. Results: Ratios of the dark and light oscillations showed a significantly greater dampening of the dark oscillation compared to the light oscillation (p < 0.000). Regression analysis using a five-factor damped sine function revealed significant differences in the parameters governing the dampening (p = 0.005) and period (p = 0.009) of the functions (R2 > 0.874). There were no significant differences in the dark trough amplitude. Conclusion: The results support a different underlying physiological mechanism for the light and dark oscillation of the clinical electro-oculogram. Future work will need to establish how the dark oscillation and dark trough of the clinical electro-oculogram arise.
- slow oscillation
- retinal pigment epithelium