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Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 2001;545:155-9.

Role of cerebellar nodulus and uvula on the vestibular quick phase spatial constancy.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Human Physiology, University of Perugia, Perugia, Italy.


We investigated the orientation of quick phases (QPs) of vestibularly-induced eye movements in rabbits in response to "off-vertical" sinusoidal vestibular stimulation. We also examined the possible role of the cerebellar nodulus and ventral uvula in controlling QP spatial orientation and modification. During "off-vertical" vestibular stimulation QPs remained aligned with the earth's horizontal plane, while the slow phases (SPs) were aligned with the plane of vestibular stimulation. This suggests that QPs are coded in gravito-inertial coordinates and SPs in head coordinates. When rabbits were oscillated in the light (20 degrees peak-to-peak; 0.2 Hz) about an "off-vertical" axis for 2 h, the QPs changed their trajectory, abandoning the earth's horizontal plane to approach the plane of the stimulus. By contrast, in the absence of conjunctive optokinetic stimulation, QPs remained fixed in the earth's horizontal plane even after 2 h of "off-vertical" stimulation. The conjunctive combination of optokinetic and vestibular stimulation caused QPs to change their plane of rotation. After lesion of the nodulus-uvula the ability of rabbits to reorient QPs during conjoint vestibular-optokinetic stimulation was maintained. We conclude that the space orientation and adaptation of QPs do not require cerebellar control.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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