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Sound-evoked vestibular projections to the splenius capitis in humans: comparison with the sternocleidomastoid muscle


Rosengren, Sally M; Weber, Konrad P; Govender, Sendhil; Welgampola, Miriam S; Dennis, Danielle L; Colebatch, James G (2019). Sound-evoked vestibular projections to the splenius capitis in humans: comparison with the sternocleidomastoid muscle. Journal of Applied Physiology, 126(6):1619-1629.

Abstract

The short-latency vestibulo-collic reflex in humans is well defined for only the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) neck muscle. However, other neck muscles also receive input from the balance organs and participate in neck stabilization. We therefore investigated the sound-evoked vestibular projection to the splenius capitis (SC) muscles by comparing surface and single motor unit responses in the SC and SCM muscles in 10 normal volunteers. We also recorded surface responses in patients with unilateral vestibular loss but preserved hearing and hearing loss but preserved vestibular function. The single motor unit responses were predominantly inhibitory, and the strongest responses were recorded in the contralateral SC and ipsilateral SCM. In both cases there was a significant decrease or gap in single motor unit activity, in SC at 11.7 ms for 46/66 units and in SCM at 12.7 ms for 51/58 motor units. There were fewer significant responses in the ipsilateral SC and contralateral SCM muscles, and they consisted primarily of weak increases in activity. Surface responses recorded over the contralateral SC were positive-negative during neck rotation, similar to the ipsilateral cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential in SCM. Responses in SC were present in the patients with hearing loss and absent in the patient with vestibular loss, confirming their vestibular origin. The results describe a pattern of inhibition consistent with the synergistic relationship between these muscles for axial head rotation, with the crossed vestibular projection to the contralateral SC being weaker than the ipsilateral projection to the SCM. We used acoustic vestibular stimulation to investigate the saccular projections to the splenius capitis (SC) and sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles in humans. Single motor unit recordings from within the muscles demonstrated strong inhibitory projections to the contralateral SC and ipsilateral SCM muscles and weak excitatory projections to the opposite muscle pair. This synergistic pattern of activation is consistent with a role for the reflex in axial rotation of the head.

Abstract

The short-latency vestibulo-collic reflex in humans is well defined for only the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) neck muscle. However, other neck muscles also receive input from the balance organs and participate in neck stabilization. We therefore investigated the sound-evoked vestibular projection to the splenius capitis (SC) muscles by comparing surface and single motor unit responses in the SC and SCM muscles in 10 normal volunteers. We also recorded surface responses in patients with unilateral vestibular loss but preserved hearing and hearing loss but preserved vestibular function. The single motor unit responses were predominantly inhibitory, and the strongest responses were recorded in the contralateral SC and ipsilateral SCM. In both cases there was a significant decrease or gap in single motor unit activity, in SC at 11.7 ms for 46/66 units and in SCM at 12.7 ms for 51/58 motor units. There were fewer significant responses in the ipsilateral SC and contralateral SCM muscles, and they consisted primarily of weak increases in activity. Surface responses recorded over the contralateral SC were positive-negative during neck rotation, similar to the ipsilateral cervical vestibular evoked myogenic potential in SCM. Responses in SC were present in the patients with hearing loss and absent in the patient with vestibular loss, confirming their vestibular origin. The results describe a pattern of inhibition consistent with the synergistic relationship between these muscles for axial head rotation, with the crossed vestibular projection to the contralateral SC being weaker than the ipsilateral projection to the SCM. We used acoustic vestibular stimulation to investigate the saccular projections to the splenius capitis (SC) and sternocleidomastoid (SCM) muscles in humans. Single motor unit recordings from within the muscles demonstrated strong inhibitory projections to the contralateral SC and ipsilateral SCM muscles and weak excitatory projections to the opposite muscle pair. This synergistic pattern of activation is consistent with a role for the reflex in axial rotation of the head.

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Additional indexing

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
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Scopus Subject Areas:Life Sciences > Physiology
Health Sciences > Physiology (medical)
Language:English
Date:1 June 2019
Deposited On:05 Nov 2019 11:01
Last Modified:29 Jul 2020 11:37
Publisher:American Physiological Society
ISSN:0161-7567
OA Status:Closed
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00711.2018
PubMed ID:30920883

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