New TV Filter Battles Pokemon Seizures
March 25, 2005

Television images that flash rapidly can sometimes trigger seizures. This was the case when many people suffered from seizures when they watched an episode of a Pokemon cartoon in 1997. A new digital filter developed by Dutch researchers may prevent future TV-induced seizures.

The researchers studied 25 people who suffered from seizures triggered by visual images. Original Pokemon scenes caused seizures in 56.5% of the trials using a 50 Hz TV and 41.3% of the trials using a 100 Hz TV. The Pokemon scenes were then digitally changed to modify the colors. The filter was designed to reduce the flickering between colors, especially between red and blue. These modified Pokemon scenes caused seizures in only 8.7% of the trials with the 50 Hz TV and in 4.3% of the trials with a 100 Hz TV.

With this new filter, people may be able to enjoy their favorite TV shows without the fear of having a seizure. Perhaps in the future, color filters could be offered as an option when people buy a TV.

References and further information:

  1. Parra, J., Kalitzin, S.N., Stroink, H., Dekker, E., de Wit, C. and Lopes da Silva, F.H. Removal of epileptogenic sequences from video material. The role of color, Neurology, 64:787-791, 2005.
  2. Pokemon on the Brain - Neuroscience for Kids

BACK TO: Neuroscience In The News Table of Contents

Send E-mail
Fill out survey
Get Newsletter
Search Pages