Regulations: What Next?


Address correspondence and reprint requests to Dr. G. F. A. Harding at Department of Vision Sciences, Clinical Neurophysiology Unit, Aston Triangle, Birmingham, B4 7ET, U.K. E-mail:


Summary:  Television (TV) is the most provocative visual stimulus and evokes (first) seizures in susceptible children and adolescents, especially when flickering and patterned images are shown. This has led to the initiative to develop guidelines for broadcasters. The development of new types of TV screens will not remove the need for control of broadcast material. It could be argued that rather than protect the whole viewing audience by application of broadcasting guidelines, only those who are photosensitive should be protected. But maybe we should do both, because most known sensitive patients will benefit from greater safety and will not be dependent on fashionable ideas by commercial broadcasters that are not (yet) familiar with the guidelines. No such guidelines exist for video material, electronic screen games, and the Internet. It would be wise to adopt the guidelines for video material and electronic screen games.