Behavioral measures of cortical hyperexcitability assessed in people who experience visual snow
Results: The visual snow group demonstrated reduced center-surround contrast suppression (p = 0.03) and elevated luminance increment thresholds in noise (p = 0.02). Groups did not differ on the global form or global motion task.
Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that visual perceptual measures involving the suprathreshold processing of contrast and luminance are abnormal in a group of individuals with visual snow. Our data are consistent with elevated excitability in primary visual cortex; however, further research is required to provide more direct evidence for this proposed mechanism. The ability to measure perceptual differences in visual snow reveals promise for the future development of clinical tests to assist in visual snow diagnosis and possibly a method for quantitatively assaying any benefits of treatments.
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