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Velocity storage contribution to vestibular self-motion perception in healthy human subjects


Bertolini, G; Ramat, S; Laurens, J; Bockisch, C J; Marti, S; Straumann, D; Palla, A (2011). Velocity storage contribution to vestibular self-motion perception in healthy human subjects. Journal of Neurophysiology, 105(1):209-223.

Abstract

Self-motion perception after a sudden stop from a sustained rotation in darkness lasts approximately as long as reflexive eye movements. We hypothesized that, after an angular velocity step, self-motion perception and reflexive eye movements are driven by the same vestibular pathways. In 16 healthy subjects (25-71 years of age), perceived rotational velocity (PRV) and the vestibulo-ocular reflex (rVOR) after sudden decelerations (90°/s(2)) from constant-velocity (90°/s) earth-vertical axis rotations were simultaneously measured (PRV reported by hand-lever turning; rVOR recorded by search coils). Subjects were upright (yaw) or 90° left-ear-down (pitch). After both yaw and pitch decelerations, PRV rose rapidly and showed a plateau before decaying. In contrast, slow-phase eye velocity (SPV) decayed immediately after the initial increase. SPV and PRV were fitted with the sum of two exponentials: one time constant accounting for the semicircular canal (SCC) dynamics and one time constant accounting for a central process, known as velocity storage mechanism (VSM). Parameters were constrained by requiring equal SCC time constant and VSM time constant for SPV and PRV. The gains weighting the two exponential functions were free to change. SPV were accurately fitted (variance-accounted-for: 0.85 ± 0.10) and PRV (variance-accounted-for: 0.86 ± 0.07), showing that SPV and PRV curve differences can be explained by a greater relative weight of VSM in PRV compared with SPV (twofold for yaw, threefold for pitch). These results support our hypothesis that self-motion perception after angular velocity steps is be driven by the same central vestibular processes as reflexive eye movements and that no additional mechanisms are required to explain the perceptual dynamics.

Abstract

Self-motion perception after a sudden stop from a sustained rotation in darkness lasts approximately as long as reflexive eye movements. We hypothesized that, after an angular velocity step, self-motion perception and reflexive eye movements are driven by the same vestibular pathways. In 16 healthy subjects (25-71 years of age), perceived rotational velocity (PRV) and the vestibulo-ocular reflex (rVOR) after sudden decelerations (90°/s(2)) from constant-velocity (90°/s) earth-vertical axis rotations were simultaneously measured (PRV reported by hand-lever turning; rVOR recorded by search coils). Subjects were upright (yaw) or 90° left-ear-down (pitch). After both yaw and pitch decelerations, PRV rose rapidly and showed a plateau before decaying. In contrast, slow-phase eye velocity (SPV) decayed immediately after the initial increase. SPV and PRV were fitted with the sum of two exponentials: one time constant accounting for the semicircular canal (SCC) dynamics and one time constant accounting for a central process, known as velocity storage mechanism (VSM). Parameters were constrained by requiring equal SCC time constant and VSM time constant for SPV and PRV. The gains weighting the two exponential functions were free to change. SPV were accurately fitted (variance-accounted-for: 0.85 ± 0.10) and PRV (variance-accounted-for: 0.86 ± 0.07), showing that SPV and PRV curve differences can be explained by a greater relative weight of VSM in PRV compared with SPV (twofold for yaw, threefold for pitch). These results support our hypothesis that self-motion perception after angular velocity steps is be driven by the same central vestibular processes as reflexive eye movements and that no additional mechanisms are required to explain the perceptual dynamics.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Ophthalmology Clinic
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neurology
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Otorhinolaryngology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Neuroscience Center Zurich
04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:23 Jan 2011 09:35
Last Modified:07 Dec 2017 06:11
Publisher:American Physiological Society
ISSN:0022-3077
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00154.2010
PubMed ID:21068266

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