This study evaluates the characteristics of photoparoxysmal responses elicited with intermittent photic stimulation during a routine electroencephalogram in childhood and correlated this with the clinical profile of the child. Photoparoxysmal responses occurred in 8% (21/263) of children where activation was undertaken. Photoparoxysmal responses were often brief and had a variable onset latency. This study suggests increasing the duration of the stimulus train to 10 seconds or more will increase the diagnostic yield. Photoparoxysmal responses very rarely outlasted the stimulus, and self-limited photoparoxysmal responses probably have greater significance than previously attributed to them. They are highly correlated with epilepsy. (C) 2003 by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.