Characterizing the patterned images that precipitate seizures and optimizing guidelines to prevent them

Arnold Wilkins, John Emmett, Graham Harding
Epilepsia 2005, 46 (8): 1212-8
The use of guidelines to prevent the broadcast of epileptogenic television program content has reduced the incidence of seizures in Britain and Japan. Epileptogenic content includes both flicker and patterns. The guidelines for flicker were developed on the basis of a model that related stimulus parameters to the proportion of patients affected. We here extend the model to pattern stimuli. A set of rules is advocated that keeps the level of risk to a consistent minimum and simplifies compliance. We propose that striped patterns that last > 0.5 s, occupy more than one fourth the area of the screen, and have bright stripes > 50 cd/m2 in luminance be restricted as regards the number of cycles admissible. The guidelines are estimated to protect at least two thirds of susceptible patients.

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