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Acta Otolaryngol Suppl. 1991;481:287-92.

Spatial orientation of VOR to combined vestibular stimuli in squirrel monkeys.

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1
Man-Vehicle Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

Abstract

The interaction of angular and linear stimuli produces a complex alignment of spatial orientation and the VOR. This phenomenon was studied by measuring three dimensional eye movements in 6 squirrel monkeys during centrifugation in the dark. The axis of eye rotation was always aligned with gravity and with the spinal axis of the upright monkeys. The erect monkeys were oriented such that they were either facing toward the direction of motion or were facing away from the motion. Angular velocity trapezoids were utilized as the motion stimuli with a ramp acceleration of 10 degrees/s2 to a constant velocity of 200 degrees/s. This yields a final centripetal acceleration of 1 g. The orientation of centripetal acceleration dramatically altered the VOR by changing the axis of eye rotation, the peak value of slow phase eye velocity, and the time constant of per-rotary decay. The axis of eye rotation always tended to align with gravito-inertial force, the peak value of slow phase eye velocity was greater when the monkey faced the motion than when it faced away from the motion, and the time constant of decay was smaller when the monkey faced the motion than when it faced away from the motion. These findings were statistically significant (p less than 0.05) and were consistent across all monkeys. The data also indicate that the VOR may be separated into two reflexes, a linear reflex and a rotational reflex. The linear reflex decays as the axis of eye rotation aligns with gravito-inertial force (GIF). These results indicate that GIF is resolved into two components: one representing an internal estimate of linear acceleration and one representing an internal estimate of gravity.

PMID:
1927397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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