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The problem of obtaining the retinal source distribution that generates the electroretinogram (ERG) from measured skin potentials is addressed. A realistic three-dimensional (3-D) volume conductor model of the head is constructed from magnetic resonance image (MRI) data sets. The skin potential distribution generated in this model by a dipole layer source at the retina is computed by using the boundary element method (BEM). The influence of the various compartments of the complete model on the results was investigated, and a simplified model was defined. An inverse procedure for estimating the source distribution at the retina from ERG's obtained from skin electrodes was developed. The procedure was tested on simulated potentials. A fair correspondence between the original and estimated source distribution was found. Furthermore, the ERG's measured at seven skin electrodes were used to estimate the source distribution at the retina. The ERG potential waveform at an additional skin electrode was computed from this source distribution and compared to the measured potential at this electrode. Again a fair correspondence was obtained. It is concluded that the methods may become a useful tool for clinical applications, i.e., for the assessment of localized defects in retinal function.