Optic neuritis: From magnocellular to cognitive residual dysfunction

Anne Claire Viret, Céline Cavézian, Olivier Coubard, Vivien Vasseur, Noa Raz, Netta Levin, Catherine Vignal, Olivier Gout, Sylvie Chokron*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Optic Neuritis (ON) has been associated to both parvocellular dysfunction and to an alteration of the magnocellular pathway. After objective visual field and acuity recovery, ON patients may complain about their vision suggesting a residual subclinical deficit. To better characterize visual abnormalities, 8 patients recovering from a first ON episode as well as 16 healthy controls performed a simple detection task and a more complex categorization task of images presented in low spatial frequencies (to target the magnocellular system) or in high spatial frequencies (to target the parvocellular system) or of non-filtered images. When completing the tasks with their (previously) pathologic eye, optic neuritis patients showed lower accuracy compared to controls or to their healthy eye for low spatial frequency images only. Conjointly, the longest reaction times were observed with the previously pathologic eye regardless the type of images and to a greater extent in the categorization task than in the detection task. Such data suggest two distinct, although associated, types of residual dysfunction in ON: a magnocellular pathway alteration and a more general (magno and parvocellular) visual dysfunction that could implicate the cognitive levels of visual processing.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)277-283
Number of pages7
JournalBehavioural Neurology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Magnocellular pathway
  • Optic neuritis
  • Spatial frequency
  • Visual cognition


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